Executives at San Onofre nuke plant owner Edison sell $17.7M in stock after rate settlement

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Two top executives at Edison International pocketed $17.7 million by selling company stock when it climbed to its highest price since 2007, after Edison reached a major settlement involving the defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California, regulatory filings show.

On March 31, Chairman Ted Craver exercised stock options held since 2005 and made nearly $9.7 million after selling 172,644 shares for an average of $56 each, according to federal regulatory filings Wednesday.

On the same day, Chief Financial Officer James Scilacci sold 143,438 shares for an average of $56, totalling just over $8 million. He exercised options that were granted in 2005 and 2009.

On March 27, Edison, the majority owner of San Onofre, announced a proposed agreement with minority owner San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and consumer advocates to end a long-running dispute over who gets the bill for the shuttered nuclear plant, which was closed permanently last year.

If approved by state regulators, customers of the two utilities would get an estimated $1.4 billion in refunds and other savings.

Edison’s share price climbed from $53.89 on March 27 to $56.61 on March 31, a gain of about 5 per cent and the highest price since 2007.

The stock sales were reported, as required, to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Edison spokesman Charles Coleman declined to comment on the timing of the sales.

A company statement said Craver’s stock options did not expire until 2015. He continues to hold 221,903 shares in a trust. Scilacci retains about 40,000 shares, most of it held indirectly in a retirement savings plan, the filings showed. The stock options he exercised last week did not expire until 2015 and 2019.

Edison closed the seaside plant for good in June but it hadn’t produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of extensive damage to tubing that carried radioactive water. The problems at San Onfore, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, centred on steam generators that were installed during a $670 million overhaul in 2009 and 2010.

After the plant was shut down, tests found some generator tubes were so badly eroded that they could fail and possibly release radiation, a stunning finding inside the nearly new equipment.

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AP Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed to this report.

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