Nuclear News: CPUC issues proposal on San Onofre costs

Source:California Public Utilities Commission

California Public Utilities Commission proposes settlement that would see over $1 billion returned to consumers as refunds and credits for the San Onofre nuclear plant closure

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a Proposed Decision for Commissioner consideration that would approve a settlement that provides consumer refunds and credits of approximately $1.3 billion due to the premature shut down of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station following a steam generator tube leak on January 31, 2012.

Under the proposed settlement, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) must stop further collection of the Steam Generator Replacement Project costs in rates, return all Steam Generator Replacement Project costs collected after January 31, 2012, to ratepayers, and accept a substantially lower return on other prematurely retired San Onofre assets. Consumers will pay approximately $3.3 billion in costs over 10 years, including costs of power the utilities purchased for customers after the outage, and recovery of the undepreciated net investment in San Onofre assets, excluding the failed Steam Generator Replacement Project. However, instead of the usual authorized rate of return, the settlement reduces shareholder return on San Onofre investments to less than three percent.  The effect is that consumers may save approximately $420 million over the 10-year depreciation period.

The proposed settlement was agreed to by the following parties: Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Office of Ratepayer Advocates, SDG&E, SCE, and The Utility Reform Network (TURN). The original proposed settlement submitted to the CPUC by the settling parties was amended by request of the Commissioner assigned to the case, Mike Florio, and the Administrative Law Judges for the case so that SDG&E and SCE each equally share net litigation proceeds from Mitsubishi between their respective customers and shareholders, and to improve the CPUC’s oversight of utility implementation of the settlement, particularly as to development of the revised rates.

“After careful consideration, I believe the settlement results in just and reasonable rates, is consistent with the law, reasonable in light of the whole record, and in the public interest,” said Commissioner Florio. “The settlement allows SCE sufficient funds to safely and securely monitor many types of potential risks and contamination, particularly to maintain the safe management of nuclear fuel assemblies in the wet pool and the later transition to dry cask storage.”

The Proposed Decision is scheduled for consideration at the CPUC’s Nov. 20, 2014, Voting Meeting.

Click here to read the CPUC's Proposed Decision (pdf)

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