San Onofre refunds urged at Costa Mesa meeting The state Public Utilities Commission must decide whether costs associated with faulty steam generators can be passed on to ratepayers.
By PAT BRENNAN / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
COSTA MESA – Supporters and opponents of a plan to restart a reactor at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant took their concerns to state utility regulators Thursday at a public meeting.
About 300 people attended the first of two three-hour sessions held by the California Public Utilities Commission, which is investigating problems with faulty steam generators that have kept both of the plant's reactors offline for more than a year.
The agency must decide whether costs associated with the generators can be passed on to ratepayers, or whether ratepayers should receive a rebate.
The four steam generators, two for each reactor, were installed in a $671 million operation between 2009 and early 2011. But after a small leak of radioactive gas brought the shutdown of the second reactor Jan. 31, 2012 – the first was already offline for maintenance – inspections revealed unexpected wear among thousands of metal tubes inside the generators.