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The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility earlier this week filed a statement with the California Public Utilities Commission opposing a motion by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, who collectively share a majority ownership stake in the long-idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, to block public access to documents pertaining to the Commission’s ongoing investigation as to the causes and consequences of the outage at the plant.

The companies say that the procedure may involve disclosure of “confidential analyses relating to the steam generator design completed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries [maker of the failed generators]” and other information for which they have committed themselves to confidentiality agreements.

Southern California residents should enjoy as much transparency in the proceedings as possible, the Alliance argues, noting that the region constitutes the nation’s second-largest economic center and that both industry and consumers are worried about the prospect of a second straight summer with questions about the region’s power supply should San Onofre’s two nuclear reactors not both come back online, an all but foregone conclusion at this point.

Three days before a deadline to turn over pertinent information as ordered by an administrative law judge, Edison and SDG&E filed a motion to block public access to documents, claiming a need to shield “market sensitive” information that could affect the utilities’ stock prices.

John Geesman, attorney for the Alliance, alleges that a “spectacle of lapsed governmental oversight” contributed to a failure to “prevent $671 million of new equipment [the minimum cost of newly installed failed steam generators at San Onofre] from transforming into what may be useless junk,” in his argument that the public deserves access to documents the utilities seek to shield.

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