SONGS Closure Settlement to Face Challenge

A settlement reached between groups representing ratepayers and the owners of the now-closed San Onofre nuclear plant will face a challenge by an outspoken former San Diego city attorney.

Southern California Edison made the decision last year to close San Onofre rather than replace steam generators showing premature tube wear in both reactors. The state's Public Utility Commission is considering a settlement that would make the plant's owners responsible for much of the cost of the damaged equipment while recouping the cost of replacement power from ratepayers.

On Monday, KPBS reported that former San Diego mayoral candidate Mark Aguirre said he would protest the settlement. While the Utility Reform Network and an office of the PUC had agreed to its terms, Aguirre disputed their assertion that the settlement would save ratepayers money, arguing that the utilities should shoulder more of the costs associated with the steam generators and replacement power. Last week another group called Citizens Oversight Projects announced it would withdraw its support for the settlement. A PUC hearing will take place next month.

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