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Local utility companies Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric were unsuccessful last week in their request to bill ratepayers $64 million for seismic studies at the San Onofre Nuclear Generator Station. A previous post details a complaint by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility about the cost of the studies, about four times higher than Pacific Gas & Electric was granted last summer for similar work relating to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant on California’s central coast.

The Alliance was successful in their request, officially being granted intervenor status by the California Public Utilities Commission at their meeting on Thursday. “This gives us the right to file testimony, send data requests that they are obligated to answer, present cross-examination of their witnesses and file comments and recommendations,” explains Rochelle Becker, executive director of the Alliance.

Becker says her group will use the power granted by the utilities commission to demand an explanation as to why the cost at San Onofre is several hundred percent higher than at Diablo Canyon. They will also ask for a time frame for the studies’ completion and inquire whether the utility companies will continue their push for re-licensing of the plant before the studies are complete and independently peer-reviewed.

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