The closed nuclear plant and aging natural gas pipeline system dominated investor-owned utilities\u2019 2012 profitability reports this week. Even though ratepayers paid an estimated total of $1.2 billion last year for the non-operating San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to 78 percent owner Southern California Edison and 20 percent owner San Diego Gas & Electric, the uncertainty of whether they will continue to do so dominated the financial community\u2019s concern. The estimated charges for San Onofre included higher-than-expected costs for repair, inspections, and replacement power. While Pacific Gas & Electric\u2019s nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, wasn\u2019t giving it financial headaches, the pipeline system that led to the 2010 San Bruno explosion is. The cost of fines and settlements continue to mount for PG&E. Highlights of the yearly and last-quarter profits and losses for regulated utilities include: Edison International--The parent company of Southern Cali-fornia Edison reported a loss for 2012 at $183 million. In 2011, the loss was $37 million. Of that, the utility posted net income at $1.56 billion. In 2011, the utility\u2019s income was $1 billion. For the fourth quarter of last year, Edison International reported a loss of $539 million, while the year before it was a loss of $839 million. At the same time, the utility posted gains for the quarter at $833 million. The last quarter of 2011 saw a $247 million profit. The losses are from the unregulated subsidiary Edison Mission Energy, which is in bankruptcy. The biggest news for Edison remains the utility\u2019s San Onofre nuclear facility. In 2012, ratepayers continued to be billed for $613 million for the plant in the California Public Utilities Commission-approved ratebase. On top of that, there was an additional $66 million in repairs and inspections, and $300 million in power replacement costs, according to utility spokesperson Jennifer Manfrè. The commission is investigating whether ratepayers should continue to pay for the shutdown plant. Executives noted that with the investigation in several phases, that it\u2019s likely to take years before a decision is reached. To keep the plant in ratebase, Edison proposes to restart unit 2 for five months at 70 percent power to determine whether the plant\u2019s steam generators are up to the task. The plan is before the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. \u201cTime is money,\u201d said Ted Craver, Edison International chief executive officer. He added that \u201cantinuclear interests\u201d are incented to slow down the restart--and that the longer it waits, the more \u201cuncertain\u201d a restart becomes. Craver also said that Sen. Barbara Boxer\u2019s (D-CA) allegation that a report from the steam generators\u2019 manufacturer led to the belief that Edison knew of potential problems prior to installation was \u201cnot accurate.\u201d He said the allegation \u201cinjected politics\u201d into the federal restart approval proposal. The federal commission opened an investigation into the allegation. It\u2019s promised to make the underlying document in redacted form public two weeks ago, but has yet to do so. Financial analysts more accustomed to the arcane details of federal Securities & Exchange Commission reports, appeared to have mounted the learning curve for arcane NRC details over the last year. They queried executives over a pending petition at the NRC\u2019s Atomic Safety & Licensing Board that could retroactively require Edison to go through full evidentiary review of the latest steam generators\u2019 installation, as well as that commission\u2019s potential amendments to the utility\u2019s license. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.--Net income for 2012 for PG&E\u2019s parent company was $816 million. For the last quarter of last year, the parent posted a loss of $13 million. The utility accounted for total 2012 earnings of $797 million. In 2011, it was $831 million. For the last quarter of last year, PG&E noted $9 million in profits. At the same time in 2011, it was $85 million. The downturn is what chief executive officer Tony Earley called \u201clegacy\u201d issues--primarily the still-accruing costs of the 2010 San Bruno natural gas explosion. For that, the company posted costs at $477 million in 2012. The total San Bruno-related costs were termed at $1.4 billion. Financial analysts worried about the company using up its equity to invest in safety and other infrastructure. \u201cLike burning $100 bills,\u201d one analyst quipped. Capital expenditures still are expected in the $4.5 billion to $6 billion range\/year. That\u2019s about what the company\u2019s been projecting for the last couple years. The California Public Utilities Commission reduced the amount of return owed to utilities beginning this year--for PG&E it declined from 11.35 percent to 10.4 percent. At the same time, PG&E expects its rate base to rapidly expand--from a high end of $29 billion next year to $35 billion in 2016. While the company is reeling from less money per investment, its executives expect the decline to be partially offset by the increased rate base. Sempra--The parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas, as well as several unregulated subsidiaries, posted total 2012 earnings at $859 million. In 2011, it was $1.3 billion. The fourth quarter accounted for $293 million, the year before it was $285 million. Of that, SDG&E posted a 2012 profit of $484 million, up from $431 million the prior year. For the fourth quarter, SDG&E reported $110 million in net income. The fourth quarter of 2011, it was $158 million. The profit boost was attributed to higher income from the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. SoCal Gas reported a year-end profit at $289 million. In 2011, it was $287 million. For the last quarter of 2012, the gain was $99 million. The year before, it was $79 million. Sempra\u2019s subsidiaries mostly reported gains, except for Sempra Natural Gas, which posted a loss of $241 million for 2012. The year prior, it posted profits of $115 million. The difference was the write-down of the Rockies Express gas pipeline in a sale to Kinder-Morgan, and lower earnings from its liquefied natural gas ventures. SDG&E\u2019s 20 percent interest in the San Onofre plant piqued financial analysts\u2019 concern. Last year, the utility\u2019s ratepayers were charged $275 million for the plant in ratebase, and another $77 million in replacement power costs, according to Debra Reed, Sempra chief executive officer. She noted that it\u2019s not an \u201cif\u201d the plant\u2019s unit 2 is restarted. Instead, she said, it\u2019s \u201cwhen the facility is restarted.\u201d SDG&E attempted to sell its part ownership of the plant near the time of state deregulation. The CPUC would not allow the sale.