International arbitration over SONGS closure

17 October 2013

Southern California Edison (SCE) has formally started arbitration action with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) against Mitsubishi, which it claims supplied defective steam generators for its now-shut San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

Replacement steam generators supplied by Mitsubishi - intended to enable San Onofre units 2 and 3 to continue operating until 2022 - were found to be suffering from excessive wear after less than one year in service. Both units were taken offline in early 2012 only to be closed permanently in June 2013 when SCE decided not to continue a protracted regulatory process to show that lower power operation would be safe.

SCE issued a notice of dispute in mid-July, formally starting a 90-day dispute resolution process with Mitsubishi, seeking to hold it accountable for supplying defective steam generators and the "billions of dollars in harm" resulting from San Onofre's premature closure.

However, with no resolution reached, SCE has now requested arbitration from the ICC. The request says that Mitsubishi "totally and fundamentally breached its contract by failing to deliver what it promised."

Mitsubishi responded by saying, "The allegations and demands made by SCE disregard the history of the contract negotiations and performance and are factually incorrect, legally unsound and inappropriate." The company said that it "will aggressively defend itself by accurately representing the facts involved and the applicable legal principles."

Mitsubishi added that it "will take actions for its counterclaims because it has been damaged by inappropriate actions by SCE regarding the restart of SONGS and the repairs of the steam generators."

A panel of three ICC arbitrators will oversee the proceedings in San Francisco.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News