Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 4.1. PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO PRIVATELY OWNED AND PUBLICLY OWNED PUBLIC UTILITIES [8301 - 8390]

  ( Heading of Division 4.1 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 2. Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities [8321 - 8330]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5. )

8321.
  

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Nuclear Facility Decommissioning Act of 1985.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8322.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The citizens of California should be protected from exposure to radiation from nuclear facilities.

(b) It is in the best interests of all citizens of California that the costs of electricity generated by nuclear facilities be fairly distributed among present and future California electric customers so that customers are charged only for costs that are reasonably and prudently incurred.

(c) The costs of electricity generated by nuclear facilities, including the costs of their decontamination and decommissioning, should be reduced to the lowest level consistent with public health and safety.

(d) The ultimate costs of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities are of significant magnitude, and introduce an element of financial risk to both electric customers and investors unless prudent provision is made for defraying those costs.

(e) In order to reduce both risk and ultimate costs for all of its citizens, the State of California should establish a comprehensive framework for timely payment of the costs of decommissioning, and provide for allocation of risks and costs among the respective interests.

(f) The principal considerations in establishing a state policy respecting the economic aspects of decommissioning are as follows:

(1) Assuring that the funds required for decommissioning are available at the time and in the amount required for protection of the public.

(2) Minimizing the cost to electric customers of an acceptable level of assurance.

(3) Structuring payments for decommissioning so that electric customers and investors are treated equitably over time so that customers are charged only for costs that are reasonably and prudently incurred.

(g) Decommissioning nuclear facilities causes electric utility employees to become unemployed through no fault of their own, and these employees are entitled to reasonable job protection the costs of which are properly includable in the costs of decommissioning.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8323.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to protect electric customers, both present and future, from the risks of unreasonable costs associated with ownership and operation of nuclear powerplants. To that end, the commission or board with respect to each electric utility owning or operating a nuclear powerplant, shall develop regulations and guidelines that promote realism in estimating costs, provide periodic review procedures that create maximum incentives for accurate cost estimations, and provide for decommissioning cost controls.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8324.
  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions in this section govern the construction of this chapter.

(a) “Board” means the board of directors or other governing body of a publicly owned public utility owning or operating a nuclear power plant.

(b) “Commission” means the Public Utilities Commission.

(c) “Electrical utility” includes both an electrical corporation subject to the jurisdiction and control of the commission and a publicly owned public utility subject to the jurisdiction and control of its board, in either case owning or operating nuclear facilities for the generation of electricity.

(d) “Decommissioning” means to remove nuclear facilities safely from service and to reduce residual radioactivity to a level that permits release of the property for unrestricted use and termination of license, or as otherwise defined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its successor. Decommissioning includes other activities and costs, if any, which may be included in Internal Revenue Service regulations implementing Section 468A of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

(e) “Nuclear facilities” means the site, building and contents, and equipment associated with any activity licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or as may be otherwise defined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its successor.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8325.
  

(a) Each electrical corporation owning, in whole or in part, or operating nuclear facilities, located in California or elsewhere, shall establish an externally managed, segregated fund for the purposes of this chapter. In addition, each electrical corporation may establish other funds, as appropriate, for payment of decommissioning costs of nuclear facilities.

(b) The externally managed, segregated fund established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be a fund which qualifies for a tax deduction pursuant to Section 468A of the United States Internal Revenue Code, and applicable regulations of the Internal Revenue Service adopted pursuant thereto, if that tax treatment is determined by the commission to be in the best long-term interests of the customers of the electrical utility.

(c) The commission shall authorize an electrical corporation to collect sufficient revenues in rates to make the maximum contributions to the fund established pursuant to Section 468A of the United States Internal Revenue Code and applicable regulations, that are deductible for federal and state income tax purposes, and to otherwise recover the revenue requirements associated with reasonable and prudent decommissioning costs of the nuclear facilities for purposes of making contributions into other funds established pursuant to subdivision (a).

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an electrical utility, which is a publicly owned public utility subject to the jurisdiction and control of its board, shall establish and may manage a separate fund for purposes of this chapter. The board shall provide that the amounts of all payments into this fund are recoverable through the utility’s electric rates.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8326.
  

(a) Each electrical utility owning, in whole or in part, or operating a nuclear facility, located in California or elsewhere, shall provide a decommissioning cost estimate to the commission or the board for all nuclear facilities which shall include all of the following:

(1) An estimate of costs of decommissioning.

(2) A description of changes in regulation, technology, and economics affecting the estimate of costs.

(3) A description of additions and deletions to nuclear facilities.

(4) Upon request of the commission or the board, other information required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding decommissioning costs.

(b) The decommissioning costs estimate study shall be periodically revised in accordance with procedures adopted by the commission or the board pursuant to Section 8327.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8327.
  

The commission or the board shall review, in conjunction with each proceeding of the electrical utility held for the purpose of considering changes in electrical rates or charges, the decommissioning costs estimate for the electrical utility in order to ensure that the estimate takes account of the changes in the technology and regulation of decommissioning, the operating experience of each nuclear facility, and the changes in the general economy. The review shall specifically include all cost estimates, the basis for the cost estimates, and all assumptions about the remaining useful life of the nuclear facilities.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8328.
  

The expenses associated with decommissioning of nuclear facilities shall be paid from the funds established pursuant to Section 8325. If the money in the funds is insufficient for payment of all decommissioning costs, the commission or the board shall determine whether the costs incurred in excess of the money in the funds are reasonable in amount and prudently incurred. If the commission or the board determines that the excess costs are reasonable in amount and prudently incurred, the commission or the board shall authorize these costs to be charged to the customers of the electric utility.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8329.
  

The commission or the board shall, for purposes of establishing rates or charges, review and approve the estimated service life and estimated retirement date of all nuclear facilities.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

8330.
  

Every electrical utility involved in decommissioning, closure, or removal of nuclear facilities, shall provide assistance in finding comparable alternative employment opportunities for its employees who become unemployed as the result of decommissioning, closure, or removal. The commission or the board shall authorize the electrical utility to collect sufficient revenue through electric rates and charges to recover the cost, if any, of compliance with this section.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1560, Sec. 5.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC