- Consumer advocates are pushing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to renegotiate a previous settlement with Southern California Edison (SCE) and make the utility pay at least $650 million more in costs related to the closure of its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), the LA Times reports. The calls come on the heels of newly-revealed improprieties in the way a previous $1.4 billion settlement was negotiated.
- Investigations of former CPUC President Michael Peevey showed that the previous allocation of $3.6 billion in costs to SCE ratepayers for the closure of the SONGS facility was determined in unethical and potentially illegal ex-parte meetings between Peevey and SCE Vice President Steven Pickett. The total cost of the closure was $5 billion, with the utility picking up the remaining $1.4 billion.
- The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates demanded the settlement be revisited after an outline of the 2014 settlement, written during a secret 2013 Peevey-Pickett meeting, was obtained during a search of Peevey’s house.
SONGS was shuttered for good in 2013. The two-reactor nuclear facility, 78 percent owned and entirely operated by Southern California Edison (SCE), was taken offline in January 2012 after detection of radioactive steam leaks.
The leaks were determined to be from prematurely worn steam generator tubes that had been part of renovations done by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).
SCE, SDG&E, TURN, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, Friends of the Earth, and the Coalition of California Utility Employees agreed to the final settlement in September 2014. It also stipulated how insurance monies will be apportioned, how monies recovered in legal actions against MHI will be apportioned, and how monies earned from the sale of San Onofre assets will be handled.
The Peevey investigation that revealed the secret deal evidence was for ex-parte meetings with Pacific Gas & Electric executives about the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion. Disclosed emails revealed Peevey's involvement with PG&E executives. The consumer advocate groups are now calling for email disclosures on the SONGS negotiations.