Utility Customer Settlement Proposed Over SONGS Steam Generators

Ratepayers will recoup replacement steam generator costs, though not the expense of procuring replacement power, in a proposed settlement addressing the now-closed San Onofre nuclear plant.

San Onofre nuclear plant. Source: NRCPremature tube wear in steam generators led to a decision to close the plant last June after the units had been offline for a year and a half. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric announced a tentative settlement over the cost of the closure with The Utility Reform Network and an office of the California Public Utilities Commission. In it, the plant's owners will not be allowed to recover capitalized costs for the steam generators as of Feb. 1, 2012. That totals $597 million for SCE and $160.4 million for SDE&G.  The utilities will also be prohibited from recovering additional incremental inspection and repair costs for the steam generators – totaling $99 million for SCE – in 2012. Money collected for the steam generators after February of 2012 will be put toward cost reductions for ratepayers. Costs for plant investments unrelated to the steam generators could be recovered over 10 years at a reduced rate of return.

If approved by regulators, the settlement would let the utilities recover the cost of replacement power, which SCE estimated at just over $1 billion at the end of last year. Should the utilities recover costs from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which fabricated the steam generators, or Nuclear Energy Insurance Limited, the settlement also allocates much of that money to ratepayers.

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  • Anonymous

    Figures don't lie, but liers can figure. Is there anyone that can tell us the real cost of not making Mitsubishi replace the steam generators? How much would it cost to put the dummies in jail who allowed the design change to go through without NCR approval? I helped start up San Onofre, it was a good plant and was "green" before air heads in California knew what green was, not one pound of CO2 emissions per mega watt.  G Wood