Nov 20, 2014 2:39 PM

Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant's costs

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Consumers will get refunds and credits of about $1.4 billion, but also pay about $3.3 billion, under a settlement approved Thursday on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The vote by the California Public Utilities Commission was 5-0.

At issue has been who should take the financial hit for the plant's demise company shareholders or customers.

The settlement stems from negotiations among operator Southern California Edison, minority owner San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and consumer advocates. Critics argued that the deal shortchanged ratepayers.

Consumers will pay about $3.3 billion in costs over 10 years, including for power purchased after the plant shut down.

The settlement "is reasonable in light of the whole record, consistent with law and in the public interest," Commissioner Mike Florio said in a statement.

San Onofre shut down for good last year after a long fight over whether it was safe to restart. It had been idle since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes inside virtually new steam generators.

A federal investigation after the 2012 leak concluded that a botched computer analysis resulted in generator design flaws that were largely to blame for the unprecedented wear in the tubing that carried radioactive water.


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