Southern California Edison agreed to calculate its ratepayer risk if the utility replaces steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station without assistance from co-owner San Diego Gas & Electric. SDG&E isn?t interested in making the investment in steam generators, and Edison has said it won?t shoulder the entire cost of more than $800 million to replace generators for the 2,150 MW nuclear facility. At a May 18 California Public Utilities Commission hearing, Edison agreed to file ?augmented? testimony June 1, said John Spiegel, outside counsel for Edison. The utility will address whether replacing worn-down facilities is cost-effective for ratepayers if SDG&E is not in the picture. Without replacements, Edison has maintained, the generators could deteriorate by 2009, hastening closure of the nuclear plant. Edison agreed to drop its motion requesting that SDG&E be ordered to show cause for not participating in the project. Edison wanted SDG&E to prove that SONGS is ?less cost-effective than other options,? said Spiegel. However, the motion would have delayed the proceedings, said administrative law judge Jeffrey O?Donnell. SDG&E, a 20 percent owner in SONGS, filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court last month seeking an ?operating impairment? clause that it says was triggered by the premature erosion of the steam generators. If this request is granted, the utility argues, it can be freed from obligations to invest in the plant. If so, the caveat is that its ownership in SONGS units 2 and 3 is reduced (see <i>Circuit<\/i>, April 16, 2004). SDG&E backed off on its plan to replace the projected 70 MW of lost output from SONGS by building a simple-cycle gas-fired turbine. Instead, the utility will rely on a ?cafeteria of resources to make up lost power,? according to David Johnson, SDG&E spokesperson. Munis Anaheim and Riverside, which together own about 5 percent of SONGS, are maintaining their wait-and-see stance on the plant. Though the Anaheim City Council hasn?t taken an official position, ?the city would prefer not to participate? in the replacement project, said Brian Cragg, attorney representing Anaheim. Riverside is holding off on making a decision on SONGS, according to Scott Lehecka, another attorney for the city. Both PG&E and Edison have pressed for preapproval of cancellation costs for new steam generator contracts at nuclear facilities, in the event the commission turns the projects down. Earlier this month, O?Donnell and commissioner Geoffrey Brown rejected PG&E?s preapproval bid, saying the matter first needs to be aired in hearings.