The California Public Utilities Commission late today (July 31) released a report that is devastating to both Southern California Edison and its protector, the commission.
The U-T today ran a story about the CPUC's refusal to release a letter penned by a nuclear expert, Dr. Robert Budnitz, about what went wrong at the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, 80 percent owned by Edison.
After the Los Angeles Times also requested the document, the CPUC reluctantly released it. It was a preliminary report by Budnitz, who said "one or more errors" had been made. Questions Budnitz posed included, "What errors led to the [steam generator] tube failures?" "Who made these errors?"
After Budnitz's preliminary letter, his study was suspended. "Somebody at the [CPUC] terminated the independent investigation as soon as it became obvious that Southern California Edison was guilty of violating nuclear safety rules," says attorney Mike Aguirre, who is fighting the attempt by Edison and part-plant-owner San Diego Gas & Electric to saddle ratepayers with $3.3 billion in payments for mistakes made by management.