Decommissioning could take 20 years and $4.4 billion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Decommissioning could take 20 years and $4.4 billion

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OCEANSIDE (CNS) - The latest price tag to decommission the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be the focus of a community meeting scheduled for Thursday evening in Oceanside.

The Community Engagement Panel, which was created to advise plant owners Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and others, will take up an estimate that the two decades-long process could cost $4.4 billion. The new amount, up from previous estimates of around $3.3 billion, was reported earlier this month.

How much of the costs of the shutdown, along with replacement power and other needs, will be borne by the utilities and how much by ratepayers has been the subject of many months of talks between the companies, regulators and consumer watchdogs.

Thursday's meeting at Quantum Learning Network Conference Center at 1938 Avenida del Oro starting at 6 p.m. is open to the public.

The nuclear plant on the northern San Diego County coastline has been idle since January 2012, when a small, non-injury leak was discovered in a steam generator.

Subsequent investigations determined that the generators, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan and installed only a couple years earlier, were of a faulty design. In June 2013, Edison shelved plans to restart the plant in favor of retiring the facility.

The panel is also expected to discuss a draft decommissioning plan and an environmental study.

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