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Edison stockholders buoyed by $3 billion San Onofre deal

Nuclear waste to sizzle until 2022

Shares in Edison International, the parent company of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station operator Southern California Edison, have hit new year-long highs daily since last Friday (March 21), and stock analysts are predicting that Edison will continue to climb in coming days.

The reason for optimism is a meeting with state regulators, scheduled for March 27, in which officials from Edison and minority plant owner San Diego Gas & Electric will meet with the California Public Utilities Commission to discuss who will take responsibility for losses related to the plant's demise, which are expected to top $3 billion.

The utility has long argued that ratepayers, and not Edison shareholders, should bear the burden for the plant's failure, picking up the tab for both early decommissioning (the reactors were expected to operate until at least 2022) as well as costs incurred as a result of the shutdown, such as the purchase of replacement power and a series of lengthy investigations and inspections. Speculation has long existed that California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey, former president of Southern California Edison, leads a board sympathetic to industry concerns.

"We note that [Edison] operates in a supportive regulatory environment of California," notes Zacks Equity Research in a March 24 post. "An amicable settlement of costs and liabilities will lift a major overhang on the stock."

Meanwhile, the first meeting of a citizens panel assembled by Edison to report progress on the decommissioning was held Tuesday night. A major concern expressed by nuclear activists going into the meeting was ongoing storage of nuclear waste at the coastal site. According to a study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, the spent fuel currently being stored on site contains radiation equivalent to 89 times what was released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

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Shares in Edison International, the parent company of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station operator Southern California Edison, have hit new year-long highs daily since last Friday (March 21), and stock analysts are predicting that Edison will continue to climb in coming days.

The reason for optimism is a meeting with state regulators, scheduled for March 27, in which officials from Edison and minority plant owner San Diego Gas & Electric will meet with the California Public Utilities Commission to discuss who will take responsibility for losses related to the plant's demise, which are expected to top $3 billion.

The utility has long argued that ratepayers, and not Edison shareholders, should bear the burden for the plant's failure, picking up the tab for both early decommissioning (the reactors were expected to operate until at least 2022) as well as costs incurred as a result of the shutdown, such as the purchase of replacement power and a series of lengthy investigations and inspections. Speculation has long existed that California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey, former president of Southern California Edison, leads a board sympathetic to industry concerns.

"We note that [Edison] operates in a supportive regulatory environment of California," notes Zacks Equity Research in a March 24 post. "An amicable settlement of costs and liabilities will lift a major overhang on the stock."

Meanwhile, the first meeting of a citizens panel assembled by Edison to report progress on the decommissioning was held Tuesday night. A major concern expressed by nuclear activists going into the meeting was ongoing storage of nuclear waste at the coastal site. According to a study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, the spent fuel currently being stored on site contains radiation equivalent to 89 times what was released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

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I guess that Utility shareholders already know something that all of us that have followed this since San Onofre started leaking on 01/31/12 don't know, namely that the CPUC will stick the bill for SCE's multibillion debacle on the ratepayers instead of SCE where it belongs since they caused the Debacle!

San Diego ratepayers are going to get stuck because SCE and SDG&E are too powerful for even SoCal MSM and/or 99% of our Politicians to stand up against (even if they wanted to), because the CPUC continues to punish ratepayers with ever increasing rates while they reward these Utilities shareholders with record profits!

It is also important to note that local MSM has been MUM about posting any stories about this multi-billion dollar debacle with the one exception being KPBS which did post a story late last Friday and then took the references to it off their website over the weekend, even though it had more comments than their other "leading" stories, I know because I posted most of them!

*Please read the relevant comments posted here:* http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/mar/21/california-utility-talks-over-san-onofre-repair-in/#c28567

March 26, 2014

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