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AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE REACHED ON SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

 AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE REACHED ON SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
 ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- This news release reflects only the positions of the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Division of Ratepayer Advocates, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Edison; it is not a position taken by the five-member commission. Prior to deciding to adopt all, part, or none of this recommendation, the CPUC will review the proposal according to its settlement rules and procedures. Settlement rules allow interested parties to explore reasons for the settlement through a workshop and possible formal hearings.
 San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), Southern California Edison Company (Edison), and the California Public Utilities Commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) announced they have reached an agreement in principle about the future of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit #1 (SONGS 1).
 Division of Ratepayer Advocates engineers, auditors, and economists review and analyze all utility applications, make staff recommendations to the CPUC for further consideration, and participate in CPUC proceedings to represent the long-term interests of utility ratepayers.
 The agreement in principle is subject to approval by the CPUC and does not concern the other two larger and more modern nuclear power units, SONGS 2 & 3.
 The agreement in principle, if approved by the commission, will lead to the closure of the 23-year-old power plant within the next two years. Utilities will be allowed to charge ratepayers for their remaining net investment in the unit, approximately $100 million for SDG&E and $350 million for Edison, so that ratepayers will pay back the remaining cost of the plant in four years.
 The two utilities will continue to run the plant. If the unit operates less than 55 percent of the time, utility stockholders will be responsible for making up the difference in energy and environmental costs.
 The plant will discontinue operation at the end of the current fuel cycle (approximately the end of 1992 or the middle of 1993). When the plant discontinues operation, the utilities will receive their lower embedded interest rate cost during the remainder of the four-year amortization period.
 If this agreement in principle is approved by the commission, it will resolve a dispute between the DRA and the utilities. DRA had alleged that it was no longer economic to operate the plant and that it should be closed. In DRA's view, continued operation would mean that ratepayers would pay $125 million in improvements over the next two years to keep the plant running with little guarantee it would operate efficiently.
 This compromise provides for the early termination of the plant. It also allows the utilities to recover their investment and interest costs.
 SONGS 1 is a 425 MW nuclear power plant located south of San Clemente. It began operation in 1968 and is jointly owned by Edison (80 percent) and SDG&E (20 percent). The site also includes two larger nuclear power plants, SONGS 2 & 3, which are not affected by this agreement. Units 2 and 3 are each 1100 MW in capacity and began operating in 1983 and 1984.
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: David Barron of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255; Robert Kinosian of the Division of Ratepayer Advocates/California Public Utilities Commission, 415-703-1500; or David Smith of San Diego Gas & Electric, 619-696-4285/ CO: Southern California Edison; San Diego Gas & Electric ST: California IN: UTI OIL SU:


JL -- LA032 -- 0791 01/16/92 19:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 16, 1992
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