Ratepayer and Public Interest Advocates Propose Formal Review of Cost to Replace San Onofre Steam Generators

Would Conform to Original Scope of CPUC Investigation Announced Last November

February 4, 2013 (SAN DIEGO, CA) – Two ratepayer and public interest parties in the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) investigation into the San Onofre outage have filed a motion in that proceeding to reopen the CPUC decision which authorized the majority owner and operator of San Onofre to replace four steam generators and conduct a reasonableness review of the entire cost to replace those steam generators.

Ruth Henricks and the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre filed this motion with the CPUC on Friday, February 1, 2013.  Ruth Henricksis represented by Michael Aguirre. The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre is comprised of community-based, grassroots organizations in San Diego and Orange Counties concerned for the safety of 8.5 million residents living within 50 miles of the crippled San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and for the economy of Southern California.

In December 2005, the CPUC authorized majority owner and operator, Southern California to undertake its proposed San Onofre Generator Replacement Program (SGRP) to replace the four (4) existing steam generators at Units 2 and 3 with four (4) new steam generators (Decision 05-12-040). The CPUC retained jurisdiction to conduct a reasonableness review if the SGRP costs were unreasonable or if they exceeded $680 million (later revised to $671 million):

“If the SGRP cost exceeds $680 million, or the Commission later finds that it has reason to believe the costs may be unreasonable regardless of the amount, the entire SGRP cost shall be subject to a reasonableness review.”

On November 1, 2012, the CPUC issued an Order Instituting Investigation, nine months after the failure of all 4 replacement steam generators at San Onfore with less than two years in service.  Therein, the CPUC noted that in this Investigation:

There is also the potential for review of some or all of the $671 million authorized for 
the steam generator replacement program (SGRP). In particular, up to $671 million with the intention not to conduct an after-the-fact reasonableness review if the costs did not exceed $671 million.  However, we also ordered:

‘If the SGRP cost exceeds

[$671 million], or the Commission later finds that it has reason to believe the costs may be unreasonable regardless of the amount, the entire SRGP cost may be subject to reasonableness review.” (D.05-12-040, Ordering Paragraph 5.)’”

As a result of the failure of these steam generators one year ago, we now know that Edison’s radical redesign of the steam generators caused structural failures in less than two years – an industry record. SCE falsely told the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and CPUC that the replacement generators were “like for like,” avoiding a “License Amendment Review” which might have caught problems such as an error-filled computer simulation.

 

Friends of the Earth are suing NRC to force a License Amendment Review for any restart. Edison plans to restart the slightly less damaged Unit 2 as soon as NRC gives the go-ahead (expected in April/May), run it at 70% power for 5 months and then shut it down for inspections.

 

Local residents warn that SCE’s plan puts California’s economy at risk, along with more than 8 million people who live within 50 miles of SONGS.  That’s the distance from Fukushima Daiichi that the NRC recommended for Americans to evacuate. SCE’s testimony on possible rate reductions proposed nearly full funding for most operations but hardly anything for Quality Assurance and whistleblower protection.

 

Ruth Henricks and the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre are calling upon all ratepayers of SCE and SDG&E (20% owner) to call or email your state legislators and Governor Brown to demand they tell the CPUC to take up the issue of whether ratepayers should be refunded the $700 million of ratepayer funds squandered on the faulty steam generators.  SDG&E and Edison shareholders should foot the bill of bad management decisions, not ratepayers.

 

Contact your State Assembly Member or Senator at http://www.legislature.ca.gov/

Contact the Governor at http://gov.ca.gov/home.php

 

Demand they tell the PUC Commissioners Consider Refunding to Ratepayers the $700 million of Ratepayer Funds Edison Wasted on the San Onofre Steam Generators that Did Not Work

 

Additional Key Information:

CONTACT:

Michael Aguirre / maguirre@amslawyers.com / 619-876-5364

Martha Sullivan / marthasullivan@mac.com / 858-945-

 
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