columbia generating station

Energy Northwest / Northwest News Network

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant is harming endangered fish. The groups are suing a Washington state permitting agency because they said it issued a permit that violates the Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists said the Columbia Generating Station in Richland discharges too much toxic material into the water. They said that material can accumulate in fish that people eat.

Nuclear Power Plant Safety Report

Mar 7, 2014
Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant reported three safety problems in 2013. Officials at the plant say they’ve been on top of the issues.

There’s a new debate raging over the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant. But it’s not about safety or how to dispose of nuclear waste.

Federal regulators say the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant is now back on course after an 11-year safety miscalculation. The new designation means the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington gets a more relaxed inspection and oversight status.

Between 2000 and 2011, workers at the nuclear plant used faulty estimates for how much radiation could escape during a crisis. That mistake and others were found in an inspection just last year.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is celebrating the new license that allows the Columbia Generating Station to run for another 20 years. She spoke at a ceremony to hundreds of the plant’s employees Thursday. The southcentral Washington reactor is run by Energy Northwest. It’s the only commercial nuclear power plant in the Northwest. Gregoire says the Columbia Generating Station has little to do with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s legacy of waste.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Hundreds of employees of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant celebrated Thursday. The Columbia Generating Station now is licensed to run for another 20 years. Correspondent Anna King was there.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the new 20 year license. That means the plant in southeast Washington will send up plumes of steam, visible for long distances across the desert until 2043. It took employees 5 years to finish the application process. Carl Adrian heads the Tri-City Development Council. He says the plant is an important employer here, but it’s more than that.

Photo courtesy of Energy Northwest

The Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant appears to have won permission to operate for another 20 years. That’s the word Friday from Energy Northwest, which operates the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington.

Energy Northwest / Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Northwest’s only commercial nuclear reactor has received its final safety evaluation report from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That’s an important milestone in the effort to re-license the reactor for an additional 20 years near Richland, Washington.