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Residents protest rate hikes related to San Onofre

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SAN DIEGO – San Onofre may be shut down, but the debate over who pays continues.

Residents gathered Tuesday to protest San Diego Gas & Electric rate hikes prior to a California Public Utilities Commission public hearing in San Diego.

Protestors held signs reading “You Break It, You Buy it” and urged commissioners to put the cost of decommissioning the plant with the utility, Southern California Edison.

“We shouldn’t have to pay a dime for this,” said Donna Gilmore, San Clemente resident. “If the PUC rewards Edison for this boondoggle what kind of message does that send?”

The Commission held a public hearing in the afternoon and evening, giving residents an opportunity to voice their concerns.

“For everyday people it’s really hard, these rate increases that are being proposed,” said Derek Casady, La Jolla resident. “I hope they do the right thing.”

Ratepayers are also concerned the utility is trying to charge for the power plants that are being used to replace San Onofre. CPUC chairman Mike Florio said a vote will take place on that issue next month.

“People do have to pay for the energy they use, but they shouldn’t have to pay twice for it,” said Florio. “That’s what we’re concerned about is that the utilities are asking for recovery of the plant that’s not running and the plants that are running to replace the one that’s not running. That’s overreaching in my view.”

Ray Lutz, spokesman for the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre, a grassroots organization, said he will be asking the CPUC to develop a Citizens’ Oversight Panel for the $4 billion decommission fund.

“We need a citizen panel there to watch every single dollar that’s spent,” said Lutz. “And make sure it’s spent wisely and that there’s no waste, fraud and abuse that goes on.”

Critics said documents prove Southern California Edison and the manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, were aware of problems with the replacement steam generators and chose not to make changes. They said Tuesday that’s reason enough to lack trust.

10 comments

  • Robert Bamford

    Fox 5 lets too many charged comments get by without a challenge. Example 1 during an interview with an activist against nuclear power and San Onofre: he called the power plant "very dangerous". In fact, it's had an exemplary safety record for its entire operational life.
    Example 2: another activist claiming that the steam generator problems caused a near meltdown. Nonsense! Those steam pipes were not a part of the nuclear core. A meltdown was not an issue.
    Comments like that need to be challenged if you people call yourselves journalists.

  • Guest

    They asked for, and received, the power plant to shut down and now they're complaining that their rates are going up? Idiots, all of them. Next they'll be complaining about their health insurance rates after voting in politicians who support Obamacare.

    • CaptD

      Forget the off topic comments…

      San Onofre's debacle was caused by SEC trying to save money while not being honest with the NRC or the Public about their replacement steam generator design…

      That is why they are being FINED by the NRC…

  • CaptD

    Robert Bamford You are wrong, even the NRC considered what happened to the San Onofre replacement steam generators a serious safety concern; Unit 2 and Unit 3 have more damaged steam generator tubes that the rest of the entire US nuclear fleet combined!

    You are also wrong about steam generator tubes, they are a critical part of the reactor core coolant loop, if they fail, they can drain the reactor core coolant, which could then cause a meltdown…

  • CaptD

    I was at the meeting and here is my take on it:

    The CPUC meeting was well attended by the public and the common theme was:

    You Broke it, You Pay for it…

    SCE and SDG&E need to pay for ALL expenses relating to the early shut down and decommissioning because they caused it to happen…

    Now if the CPUC agrees with all the SoCal ratepayers, is yet another question because many Billions are at stake and the Utilities are very powerful politically, so many feel that the FIX is already in, with the CPUC!

    NOTE: Most MSM in San Diego aired very little if anything about the CPUC meeting and the effects on SoCal ratepayers bills because of the San Onofre debacle; I wonder why?

    How many other 10 Billion Dollars stories are in the news now!

  • CaptD

    Dear FOX5

    Many people could not attend the CPUC meeting because of the location and/or time, that is why the CPUC allows interested ratepayers to submit written comments by mail and/or the internet!

    The potential impact of the CPUC ruling could be between anywhere between many hundreds of millions and many Billion dollars depending upon what the CPUC decides as "reasonable" and if they pick a low amount I believe the case will be appealed to the California courts, (where the CPUC is not in control) because of the huge amount of money involved!

    Here are some numbers (rounded off) to ponder:
    … Replacement Steam generator proj. $750 million
    … New High Pressure Turbines and other equip. $100 million
    … Short fall in Est. decommissioning costs $750 million
    … Ratepayers paid $64 Million per month for 20 months of NO energy = $1.3 Billion
    … and there are many other charges…

  • CaptD

    Oversight of the decommissioning will soon expose the ugly underbelly of the nuclear industry because it is never talked about or completed for the amount of money projected when reactors are built!

    I'm looking forward to being on that oversight panel!

    +

    France is now aware that their reactors are too dangerous to their economy! http://www.businessinsider.com/potential-cost-o... via @bi_contributors

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