SCE seeks over $2B from ratepayers over nuke plant

California utility seeks over $2 billion from ratepayers for closed San Onofre nuclear plant

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Southern California Edison wants customers to pay more than $2 billion over the next seven years to cover the company's capital investment in the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant.

Edison outlined its proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission last month, The Orange County Register reported Thursday.

The utility says it needs the money to compensate shareholders. A commission decision is not expected until next year.

Edison believes reduced labor and other costs at the closed plant will help offset the bill for buying replacement power, since the twin reactors no longer produce electricity for customers. That would result in no change in customer rates, the company predicts.

The state Division of Ratepayer Advocates, an independent arm of the commission, has argued that it is unreasonable to continue charging ratepayers for a plant that produces no power.

San Onofre, located between San Diego and Los Angeles, was shut down in January 2012 after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of heavily damaged tubing in its virtually new steam generators. Edison closed the plant for good after a long fight with environmentalists over safety issues.

Edison is also seeking damages from insurers and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the faulty generators.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

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