San Onofre Settlement Talks To Focus On Covering Plant's Shutdown Costs

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By Erik Anderson

Utility representatives and consumer advocates are huddling Thursday to talk about who pays for costs linked to the premature closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The nuclear power plant shut down after a small leak of radioactive steam in January 2012 began a chain of events that led to the facility's closure in June 2013.

The price tag related to the shutdown and closure is widely expected to exceed $1 billion.

Lawyers for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and ratepayer advocates, including the Utility Reform Network, are meeting in San Francisco at the request of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The idea is to see if the groups can figure out how to carve up the bill for the plant's premature closure.

"My own personal guess is that, this would be a first round where everybody kind of puts their initial position out. And then we look at positions and then there's probably going to be some more rounds where there's negotiating on different positions," said Ray Lutz, national coordinator for Citizen Oversight.

Lutz is going to the meetings to make sure ratepayers get a fair shake.

A major issue is how ratepayers and shareholders share the bill. Southern California Edison officials have suggested customers could be getting back at least $1.3 billion.