SONGS Steam Gen Hearings to Reopen The California Public Utilities Commission will rehear some of the issues related to the proposed $782 million investment in new steam generators to prolong the life of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The June 16 decision said a rehearing will take up correcting net-present-value calculations and determining a greenhouse gas emissions adder. The Utility Reform Network asked the commission to reconsider the matter, asserting that the commission violated its own rules on access to comment on the decision. They also charge that a last-minute recalculation of natural gas prices used to make the economics of the nuclear investment more attractive is not technically supportable. "We have little hope that the commission will do anything other than rubber-stamp the original decision," said Matt Freedman, TURN attorney. The commissioners decided that a recalculation of replacement power if the nuke did not receive new steam generators changed its cost-effectiveness to ratepayers from the negative to the positive - using natural gas prices at their highest level during last December for that replacement power. Conversely, the calculations did not include the rising price of uranium to fuel nuclear power (Circuit, Dec. 16, 2005). The commission's decision also adopted a $782 million cap on the investment, instead of the $680 million cap that was developed during the hearing process. Last year's decision "was slapped together haphazardly in an effort to please Edison by gerrymandering the cost-effectiveness analysis," Freedman stated. Southern California Edison did not respond to requests for comment.