The State

A state hearing officer opened hearings expected to last two years on the price customers will have to pay for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and said it would probably be mid-July before the plant affects electric bills. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants its 3.6 million customers to pay the entire $5.4-billion cost of Diablo Canyon, a long-delayed plant that sits alongside an earthquake fault on the San Luis Obispo County coast. The state Public Utilities Commission must decide how much of the cost, if any, was unreasonable and should not be passed on to customers.

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