San Onofre cost for Edison: $317 million and counting; ratepayers could be stuck with the bill

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The operator of the San Onofre nuclear plant says the plant’s shutdown has cost more than $300 million dollars and counting. 

Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, says it’s racked up $96 million dollars on inspection and repair costs.
 
The much bigger expense has been the $221 million Edison has spent buying replacement power.
 
The disclosures came in Edison’s quarterly report to investors, which noted that it’s possible that the Unit 2 reactor - or the more heavily damaged Unit 3 - may never operate again.
 
The company also mentioned the possibility its San Onofre license may have to be amended.
 
Wall Street didn’t seem didn’t seem overly concerned by the disclosures, with Edison stock closing Friday down only 2 cents at $46.69.

An unanticipated cost of a couple hundred million dollars is a relative drop in the bucket for a company the size of Edison, according to Travis Miller, Director of Utilities Research at Morningstar.
 
“$300 million dollars on a stock with a $15 billion market cap is frankly, immaterial," said Miller.
 
Miller also notes that California is known as a very favorable state for utilities to operate. That’s bad news for ratepayers, whom he expects to be on the hook for fixing San Onofre. 
 
“Ultimately the customers will bear the brunt of that cost and investors will be protected from most of it," said Miller.
 
The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating who should pay for San Onofre-related costs.
 
As Edison waits for the findings, it’s submitted a $45 million invoice to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the steam tube generators. Mitsubishi warranted them for 20 years; they lasted less than two. 

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