They are risky operators. Their judgment is suspect. They face PR challenges. Teenagers and nuke owners, that is. A recent example of a teenage PR snafu is my 13-year-old getting caught for being out too late. Her cursory rose-tinted explanation set off my BS-ometer, which spun faster after listening to conflicting versions of events. Around the same time, the operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant claimed it could be back online sooner than expected. But, there also were conflicting versions of events. Fact checking in both instances dispelled any hope for the accuracy of the reports. Had the Los Angeles Times checked too, it could have dispelled the inaccuracy. It would have been nice to believe Southern California Edison\u2019s rosy prediction that it had beat the odds and managed to redress the unprecedented wear in the young San Onofre steam generators by next month as reported by the Times May 4. But like my teenager, Edison too sometimes has its own version of reality. Repeated attempts by Current to speak with Edison communications representatives about the kerfuffle, like inquiries to my daughter, were met with silence minus the rolling of eyes. While I know the basis for my teenager\u2019s malarkey, reasons for the recent misinformation about a June restart of California\u2019s second biggest power plant could be many. Regardless, it too raises risk and reliability concerns. Yet nobody seems to be able to get a fuller story from Edison. This is despite the fact that the welfare of Southern California\u2019s grid is at stake this summer if the 2,200 MW nuke remains off line. A major region, San Diego in particular, may be hit with blackouts this summer, according to the grid operator. Without San Onofre, San Diego\u2019s needs amount to 3,048 MW, but when the mercury spikes demand can get close to 5,000 MW, according to the California Independent System Operator. In the transmission-constrained area about 2,100 MW of imports would be needed, meaning possible short falls of more than 300 MW in San Diego. In the Los Angeles Basin, the demand is about 9,418 MW with San Onfore out. Peak demand can soar to more than 19,900 MW, with almost 11,000 MW of imports expected to be available. The Los Angeles Basin also falls short of planning standards to the tune of 240 MW, warned the grid operator. How long San Onfore is down, how hot it gets, how well the old Huntington Beach units perform, and the effectiveness of demand-response programs are looming questions. All the public knows is that the day after one Edison executive told one newspaper the plant could be back online in June with regulatory approval, an Edison spokesperson told another newspaper that utility customers could expect brownouts this summer if the plant wasn\u2019t back. Right after the possible San Onofre online date became news, I contacted CAISO and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They reported the restart timeframe was news to them. CAISO spokesperson Steven Greenlee stated May 4 that there had not been \u201cany new official notice for a return of service\u201d from Edison since March. The NRC--the big mama on the nuclear block charged with grounding errant nukes--also was caught unaware, issuing its own statement contrary to Edison\u2019s. In addition, the manufacturer of the fairly new steam generator units at the nuclear facility in San Clemente is not expected to finish its review of San Onofre--of which Edison is the operator and majority owner--until later this summer. (Federal regulators notified the utility last week that they intend to conduct a \u201cresource intensive\u201d inspection of the two units June 18-29.) A few days later, after the May 4 and 5 news stories, Edison\u2019s president had to set the record straight, stating that published information it submitted to CAISO was misinterpreted. The utility, along with the grid operator, clarified for the record that there was no firm restart date at this time. Whatever the reason, Edison has an ongoing PR problem--just like my teenager. So why the contradictory information from Rosemead about a center stage issue? One can only wonder. Was Edison\u2019s left hand clueless as to what the right hand was doing because of an absence of attention and coordination at a higher level? Did it float a trial balloon to see if regulators would be predisposed to a quick restart? Whatever the reason, it\u2019s serious business in need of serious attention. It also raises doubts about the utility\u2019s earlier insistence it had learned its lesson regarding managing and communicating in crisis situations after the massive power outage in the hurricane-force wind storm late last year. Edison released inaccurate and overly optimistic restoration time estimates to its customers and cities. Like a teenager failing to phone home, Edison also didn\u2019t provide briefings to local emergency response officials. Later, internal reports urged the utility to improve its emergency response and management. \u201cWe have said from the beginning that we intend to learn lessons from our storm response and are determined to do better in the future,\u201d stated Edison president Ron Litzinger. It makes me wonder if Edison is taking lessons from my teenager.