By City News Service
The California Public Utilities Commission will be evaluating a request by the San Diego Gas & Electric Co. for its customers to make up $808 million it invested in replacing steam generators for the now-mothballed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, it was reported today.
SDG&E owned 20 percent of the plant and had received one-fifth of the energy it generated.
The CPUC planned to eventually consider whether customers will pay for costs associated with the plant's breakdown, and to cover investments in the steam generator replacement project, U-T San Diego reported.
One of San Onofre's reactors was taken offline in January 2012 after a small leak was discovered. The other unit was undergoing planned maintenance at the time, and neither was operated again.
It was discovered in a subsequent investigation that the leak was caused by vibrations that caused steam pressure tubes to wear prematurely. Southern California Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Japanese company that built the new steam turbines, dispute over who is to blame for the design flaws.
SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan said the decommissioning funds could be used to offset future rate increases, and that utility officials do not expect rates to increase, according to U-T San Diego.
Southern California Edison, which owned 78.2 percent of the idled plant, intends to recover more than $2 billion from its customers, although officials said rates would not be changed, U-T San Diego reported.