Edison Int'l seeks $7.57B in damagers from Mitsubishi for San Onofre closure

Dive Brief:

  • Edison International and subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE), the majority owner-operator of the now-shuttered 2,300 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), is asking for $7.57 billion in damages from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japanese company's role in the California plant’s failure, according to a filing with an international arbitrator.
  • Mitsubishi argued in its filing with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that its liability is contractually capped at approximately $137 million for the generator tube retrofits it performed at SONGS in 2010 and 2011.
  • The tubes, when discovered to be leaking radioactive steam in 2012, led to the two-unit facility’s permanent closure in June 2013. 

Dive Insight:

In MHI’s 2013 after-action assessment, both it and SCE were reported to have been aware of serious problems with the design of SONG’s replacement steam generators before they were installed, but rejected enhanced safety modifications to avoid triggering “a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.” 

The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Office of Ratepayer Advocates continue to push the commission to renegotiate the closure settlement with SCE and other stakeholders. It requires ratepayers to cover $3.6 billion of the utility’s $5 billion in closure-related losses. Advocates want regulators to increase the utility’s $1.4 billion portion by at least $650 million.

Investigations of former CPUC President Michael Peevey showed that the settlement was made in unethical and potentially illegal ex-parte meetings between Peevey and then-SCE Vice President Steven Pickett. Ratepayer advocates want the settlement revisited because investigators discovered an outline of it during a search of Peevey's house they say was written during a secret Peevey-Picket meeting in 2013.

Filed Under: Generation Corporate News
Top image credit: Wikipedia/awniaALAIN