SAN CLEMENTE (AP) — The operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is defending its closure to customers who may wind up paying hundreds of millions of dollars in shutdown costs.

Southern California Edison published full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and other papers on Monday arguing that the closure’s in the customers’ best interests. Edison says it’s trying to recover costs from insurers and from Mitsubishi — the company whose defective equipment led to the closure.

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However, the utility says costs could be significant and the utility’s 4.9 million customers may have to share them.

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The Southern California plant’s been offline since last year because of excessive wear in tubes that carry radioactive water. Edison announced in June that it would permanently shut the plant.

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