Based on internal documents of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Southern California Edison, operators of the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, deliberately pushed the system beyond its breaking point, causing tubes filled with superheated pressurized radioactive water to bang together violently; this led to its shutdown, and Edison — with the clandestine help of the California Public Utilities Commission — foisting most of the decommissioning expense on ratepayers.
Since the failure was the fault of management, shareholders should have borne the entire financial burden.
Credit this disclosure in part to Vinod Arora, a former Edison engineer whose Freedom of Information Act request was granted, providing the information for this conclusion. Arora was assisted in his analysis by five engineers.
Replacement steam generators that were supposed to last 40 years failed after less than a year. Edison ran the steam generators "too hard and too fast, and they broke," says Arora.
Edison knew it was "pushing San Onofre's steam generators past the original design limit, but did it anyway for the sake of short term profits and to correct other design deficiencies as a result of [Edison's] unverified assumptions," says Arora.