SCE asks California to affirm San Onofre Nuclear Plant settlement

Southern California Edison notified the California Public Utilities Commission that the parties in the San Onofre nuclear plant closure settlement were unable to reach agreement on possible changes to the settlement unanimously approved by the CPUC in 2014.

SCE urged the commission to affirm the existing settlement of issues related to the premature retirement of San Onofre in 2013 and bring closure to this protracted proceeding.

“The settlement is appropriate and should stand,” said SCE President Ron Nichols. “It ensured our customers do not pay for the faulty steam generators from the time they failed and the plant was no longer providing power.” The settlement also significantly reduced the portion SCE customers are paying in their monthly bills for past investments to build and maintain San Onofre over the 30 years the plant provided safe, reliable and low-cost power.

“Based on our new economic analysis, customers are paying about $760 million less in their bills than they would have if San Onofre continued to operate through the end of its license in 2022,” Nichols added. He said the analysis reflects the dramatic and sustained drop in energy market prices the past four years that has affected the economics of many U.S. nuclear reactors.

SCE’s filing was in response to an order last December by a commissioner and commission administrative law judge that the settlement parties and other parties to the San Onofre proceeding meet and consider changes to the agreement.

The parties met three times directly and then four times with a mediator, and additionally talked by phone multiple times, but were unable to agree on changes to the settlement that allocated San Onofre closure costs between utility investors and customers.

SCE and plant co-owner, San Diego Gas & Electric, have already returned more than $2 billion to customers under the 2014 settlement.

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