nuclear power

Last summer officials at the only Northwest nuclear power plant changed their public evacuation plans and the federal government says in a report it wasn’t informed.

U.S. Department of Energy

Seventy years ago Friday, an 11-month frenzied construction project went hot. It all happened in the remote southeast Washington desert.

Scientists pulled the control rods out of the first full-scale nuclear reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The startup of B Reactor is one of the key moments in the dawn of the Atomic Age.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Japan’s crippled nuclear plant is bleeding hazardous radioactive water at a mind-staggering rate. Officials at Fukushima Daiich are filling 27-feet-tall tanks nearly every other day. Now, in southeast Washington, a company called Kurion is developing and building a mobile filter system to help deal with that troublesome radioactive wastewater.

The filtering system looks like five large shipping containers. Except, they’re awfully shiny and have a lot of high-tech whiz-bang pipes, electronics and tanks inside. Workers here are still welding, and testing the systems.

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.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Flickr

Northwest power planners may do their own analysis on the impacts of shutting down the region’s only nuclear power plant, which operates near Richland, Washington.

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.

Here’s an update on a double-hulled tank that’s leaking internally at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. The Department of Energy said Friday that recent tests show there is no leak of radioactive material outside of the tank. But the State of Washington says it still wants Hanford managers to pump the liquids out of the tank immediately. Correspondent Anna King has more.

The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site.

In Japan, workers in gloves and masks are grinding down sidewalks and roads, wiping down rooftops and bagging contaminated soil. Now, the problem is where to put all that radioactive waste from Fukushima.

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.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A tank full of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington may be leaking. Friday the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors say liquid levels in an underground radioactive waste tank are going down.

The single-hulled tank is called T-111. It’s located in central Hanford in a group of tanks called T-farm. The Department of Energy reports the rate of loss is about 150 to 300 gallons of liquid a year.