Southern California Edison is facing a $16.7 million penalty for holding improper talks with utility regulators related to the now-closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The proposed penalty is the latest development tied to a dispute over a $4.7 billion settlement related to the shutdown of San Onofre. San Onofre was shut down in January 2012 after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of extensive damage to tubing inside virtually new steam generators. The plant never produced electricity again. Edison closed San Onofre permanently in June 2013.
Last November, commissioners approved a settlement over the closures -- in which ratepayers would shoulder about $3.3 billion of the costs, while Edison and the plant's minority owner, San Diego Gas & Electric Co., would cover $1.4 billion.
Consumer advocates and other critics have urged the commission to reopen the settlement, saying private conversations between the commission's then-president, Michael Peevey, and Edison gave the company an unfair advantage. The company has previously defended the 2014 deal, saying it is fair and was negotiated properly.
California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Melanie Darling proposed the fine Monday for what she called misleading acts and omissions by the company.