Edison notifies utilities commission of conversation between ex-execs on shuttered nuke plant

Energy Associated Press

Southern California Edison said Monday that it has given notice to the California Public Utilities Commission of a conversation between executives from the two organizations about efforts to reopen a nuclear plant that was shut down a short time later.

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Edison submitted notice of the March 2013 conversation between its former executive vice president for external relations, Stephen Pickett, and former CPUC President Michael Peevey, whose dealings with another utility are under investigation.

Edison said in a statement that it had previously found that it was a "one-way communication" from Peevey to Pickett that didn't require reporting under state disclosure rules.

But the utility said it has now decided to report the conversation, which may have counted as a "substantive communication" that required disclosure to regulators.

Edison President Pedro Pizarro said the utility recently strengthened its policies "to ensure that the systems we have in place conform to both the letter and the spirit of open and fair communication, and compliance with commission rules."

In the conversation at an industry event attended by both men, Peevey was checking on the utility's efforts to restart the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which is owned by Edison and had been temporarily shut down. It would be permanently shuttered within a month.

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The disclosure comes as Peevey is at the center of an investigation of back-channel dealings between the state commission and California's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Emails released by PG&E alleged Peevey and PG&E officials routinely had private discussions about regulatory matters.

Peevey announced in October that he would not seek another term after 12 years on the board.

Contact information for Peevey or an attorney for him could not be found. The CPUC press office did not immediately respond to an after-hours message seeking comment.