California utility was involved in improper nuclear plant talks

California utility was involved in improper nuclear plant talks

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Southern California Edison executives were involved in inappropriate talks with California utility regulators in relation to the San Onofre nuclear power plant that is now closed. The judge said that the company could be charged with millions of dollars in possible penalties.

California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Melanie Darling came up with the ruling, indicating the latest development related to a long-time dispute over an approximately $5 billion settlement, which broke up costs from the non-operational nuclear plant.

According to the judge, between March 26, 2013, and June 17, 2014, Edison executives or attorneys were involved in 10 unreported and improper talks with one or more agency commissioners. According to a commission statement, the company could be fined up to $50,000 a day for each crime. As per the statement, the total penalties could be more than $34 million.

As per reports, the ruling has ordered Edison to explain why it should not be punished for improper talks with the agency. According to the company, a number of allegations regarding improper discussions were denied in the ruling.

According to Pedro Pizarro, president of SCE, the company "strives to be conscientious and comply with the commission's rules". Pizarro added, "Based on the information we had at the time, we did not believe these communications were reportable. We're disappointed that the ruling reaches a different conclusion".

Earlier, the company has defended financial deal of 2014. It said that it is fair and negotiations were not proper.

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