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Comments made by CaptD

California Utility In Talks Over San Onofre Repair, Inspection Costs

I've been following this closely and figure the total rebate figure should be around 5 Billion dollars because the real cause of SCE's Multi-Billion Dollar debacle was their using high burnup fuel which caused the steam generators to fail much sooner than planned! This "early" replacement has cost ratepayers easily about 5 Billion Dollars when you figure in all the lost energy that could have been generated, all the new components that cost over 2 Billion Dollars and the decommissioning fees that have not yet been collected, since San Onofre was decommissioned "early".

Add to the above the fact that the CPUC has not only OK'd SDG&E spending 1.6 Billion Dollars for a new Gas Fired Peaker Plant in Pio Pico but has also OK"d rate increases which will allow both SCE and SDG&E to "recover" most of what they will have to rebate ratepayers!

March 21, 2014 at 4:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

San Onofre nuclear plant: Owners plan advisory panel, outline next steps
Ed Joyce | January 31st, 2014, 4:18pm
The owners of the San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente said Friday that they plan to create an advisory panel as part of the decommissioning of the seaside facility.

The plant's majority owner, Southern California Edison, said it wants the advisory panel to include elected officials from San Diego and Orange counties and from cities surrounding the plant, along with anti-nuclear activists, the military and academics, among others.

"We're envisioning 18-to-20 people on the Community Engagement Panel," said Ted Craver, CEO of Edison International, which is the parent company of Southern California Edison.

February 2, 2014 at 11:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

To Atomikrabbit SCE uses its lawyers to make prepared statement and has not taken part in discussions about what has happened at San Onofre. That is only part of the reason that San Onofre has been closed; one of the others is that they did not listened to their own high level employees that told them their design was faulty so now there are also now lawsuits against SCE because of that.

So your claim of: "unqualified radiophobic activists with too much free time on their hands, such as some of those posting here" is just so much Nuclear Baloney* (NB).

I suggest that you are the one that needs to get informed about what has occurred at San Onofre.

January 31, 2014 at 1:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

Yet another issue that the ongoing investigation bring to light is the use of High Burn-up Fuel (HBF) at San Onofre!

So far this issue has not been mentioned very much in the CPUC's public investigation. This is important because what has been left out of the discussion is the damage caused by using HBF which translates into much more maintenance that is paid for by ratepayers. These "Up-rates" in power generated tend to cause much higher "wear and tear" on all critical components that carry reactor core coolant, something that is not usually disclosed to ratepayers, since they not the operating Utilities have to foot the bill to pay for them and/or their replacement, which could easily run into the Billions over time! The NRC does not care about operating cost because they consider that as a on-going maintenance cost and don't care about it, leaving it to the regulator (the CPUC in this case) to monitor. The Up-rates allow the Utility to not only make more power (and more profits) from their nuclear power plants (NPP) but they also get to make a profit on supplying all the replacement components, usually replacing them with more efficient ones which translates into even greater profits for the Utility, ALL AT THE PUBLICS COST.

This is the key reason the SCE want to stop any and all investigations at San Onofre because if tit becomes widely known that public has been duped into paying for billions in faulty operational costs then not only will SCE be exposed but all the other NPP Operators in the USA and beyond that now use HBF. This is just another reason that the public must have access to operational documents, because as it is now we are left having to trust the very Utilities that time has shown are thinking far more about their own profitability than they are about keeping costs down for the ratepayers they serve!

January 31, 2014 at 7:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

Adding to the above comment is the frustration caused by the ongoing delay in the CPUC's own investigation into the operation of San Onofre. By NOT demanding that SCE make public any and all documentation relating to the design, construction and operation of SCE's in-housed designed replacement steam generators, outside experts cannot determine the "reasonableness" of what SCE did.

This is THE key factor in determining how much the CPUC will determine that SoCal ratepayers are due in refunds for this public utility debacle which will amount to somewhere between 1 and 10 Billion dollars if the investigation is provided fair access! The CPUC must allow access to documentation and not continue to shield SCE's actions from public scrutiny if ratepayers are ever to learn the truth!

Unless the CPUC changes it Pro Utility stance, SoCal ratepayers not Utility shareholders will be forced to pay for SCE's in-house engineering debacle for decades to come!

As of now, we have paid and/or are still paying about*:

- $60 million per month for ongoing expenses and getting zero energy for it
- $750 million for the replacement steam generators that were dangerous
- $300 million for new turbines
- $200 million for new reactor heads
- $500 million of decommissioning shortfall, estimated...
- $1,500 million for 5+ decades of nuclear waste on-site storage costs

*NOTE: This is only a partial listing and I believe it is on the LOW side...

January 31, 2014 at 7:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

As submitted to the NRC's own moderated Blog site on 01/23/14:

Keeping Knowledge “In the Family” at the NRC

... The most important area of knowledge that NRC needs to document ASAP is Fluid Elastic Instability (FEI), since San Onofre's NPP replacement steam generator (RSG) debacle has clearly pointed out that while many at the NRC claim to have expert knowledge about FEI, very few if any really do, which places us all at risk. NRC employees don't like to admit that they don't really understand FEI, the specific factors that lead up to it and/or how FEI can cause cascading steam generator tube damage inside operating steam generators that cannot be detected until after the damage is done, which could then lead to a catastrophic loss of reactor core coolant!

Case In Point:
San Onofre NPP Unit 2 was operating with a SG tube that had 95% wear, when the safety limitation is 35%, yet the Utility Operator SCE never had a clue that this tube was close to failure, until it was inspected during a scheduled refueling, which luckily happened to also occur at the same time that Unit 3's almost new RSG developed a radioactive leak on 01/31/12. Later NRC investigations found more damaged SG tubes at San Onofre Unit 2 and Unit 3, than in all of the rest of the US nuclear fleet combined!


The NRC has chosen to "look the other way" instead of immediately revising their Beyond Design Basis (BDB) belief that only a single SG tube can fail at any one time for any reason at any NPP, a belief that both San Onofre's almost new RSG have proven is no longer factual, despite the fact that even ex-NRC scientists have warned the NRC about this issue previously, yet no Regulatory changes have been made. Adding to the problems at San Onofre, are the many conflicting industry and academic expert opinions/explanations of exactly what occurred at San Onofre.

Many have urged the Chairman of the NRC to direct that San Onofre's investigations be fast tracked and made public because of its safety implications, but it turns out that even Senator Boxer is having trouble getting complete documentation from the NRC about San Onofre's operation Each day that the NRC continues to stretch out its FEI investigations (hoping this problem will just go away), is yet another day that all other NPP's may be operating in a potentially unsafe manner!

January 31, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

Cont. 2
In Phase 2 of this investigation currently underway, the CPUC is also considering SCE's and SDG&E's request to recover $3.2 Billion in sunk costs in the shuttered nuclear plant. Briefs are due later this week and in mid-December, after which the ALJs will begin to prepare a proposed decision.

To counter the intense lobbying by SCE and SDG&E already underway to reduce even this nominal inital refund for ratepayers, as well as to blunt the criticism of SCE's unsound decision-making in responding to this outage, CDSO will once more mobilize public opinion to defend ratepayer interests. We will reinforce the resounding message given at the CPUC's first public hearing in San Diego on this investigation, October 1st: Stop the San Onofre Bailout!

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) is a grassroots project of Citizens Oversight, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation which encourages increased engagement by the public in the operation of their local, state and federal government to reduce waste, fraud and abuse by public officials. Our Coalition member organizations also include the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Clemente Green, and Women Occupy San Diego.

Our CDSO Intervenor Team is led by 20-year CPUC veteran Martha Sullivan and Ray Lutz, the National Coordinator for Citizens Oversight and an engineer who has intervened at the U.S. NRC on San Onofre operating license specifications.




November 23, 2013 at 7:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

Important NOTE: The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) ... is fighting for BOTH San Diego and OC ratepayers


Proposed Decision in CPUC Investigation of San Onofre Outage Has Good News and Bad News for Ratepayers

(San Diego) Agreeing with the position taken by the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) and other public interest advocates in the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) investigation into the San Onofre outage of 2012-2013, the assigned Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) have published a Proposed Decision in Phase 1 of the investigation, dealing with 2012 expenditures during the outage: However, we find [Southern California Edison] SCE to be single-minded about its restart plan, and slow to understand the technical challenges and regulatory timeframe required to implement it. SCE’s decision to apply resources to a restart plan was the result of an unsound decision-making process, primarily because SCE did not consider cost effectiveness or alternatives such as putting Unit 2 into preservation mode, or realistically assess the regulatory hurdles blocking a reasonably foreseeable restart.

The ALJ's Proposed Decision calls for the first refund to the ratepayers of SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) due to the unplanned outage of the twin nuclear reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, of $94 Million. This preliminary refund reflects only the over-collection of funds from ratepayers in 2012 that were previously authorized by the CPUC for normal operations associated with generating electricity. While CDSO welcomes the ALJs' embrace of its position that SCE made unsound decisions at the expense of its own and SDG&E ratepayers, we consider the amount of this refund to be overly conservative, and will argue so in Comments on the Proposed Decision due by December 9, 2013. The 5 Commissioners may vote on a final decision on December 19, 2013.

The Proposed Decision defers decision on $122 Million spent by SCE in 2012 on the defective reactors to Phase 3 in this investigation. Phase 3 will judge the reasonableness and prudency of SCE's actions and expenditures in replacing 4 steam generators in the San Onofre reactors in 2010-2011, which proved to be defective following a leak on January 31, 2012.

The Proposed Decision also defers to Phase 3 whether SCE and SDG&E will be allowed to recover costs associated with power purchases necessary to replace the electricity not generated by San Onofre. This Proposed Decision adopts a methodology for calculating what these “replacement power costs” are, and orders SCE and SDG&E to file new cost estimates using this methodology following the final decision.

November 23, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Council Approves 15 Percent Water Rate Hike

A close look at the tier system will show you that residential customers are paying way too much and the big water users are paying very little; but since there are more residential customers the City council feels it is OK to over bill them!

This is just yet another way that the City Council chooses to raise rates for all of US, instead of learning how to do more with less, like capping the salaries of all those big City Exec.'s, and especially those that work for the Water Dept.

p.s. It is no wonder that Local cities oppose water desalination, since they would loose revenue, if water was less costly; remember we are sitting next to the Pacific Ocean!

November 22, 2013 at 3:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

More here on decommissioning costs:
GAO Report Finds Inadequacy, Inaccuracy in NRC Oversight of Funds to Decommission Nuclear Power Plants

November 22, 2013 at 3:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )