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Feds Begin Special Inspection At Washington Nuclear Plant

Energy Northwest

The federal agency that watches over the nuclear power industry is taking a close look at the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington this week. That’s because the plant had a problem with the cooling system for a room of important electrical equipment. It wasn’t properly maintained.

Energy Northwest self-reported the issue to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. NRC spokesman Victor Dricks says the public was never in any danger, because there were backup systems in place.

Even so, Dricks says, “One of the things we want to look at here is how preventive maintenance program that they had in place didn’t catch this problem earlier.”

Dricks says his agency doesn’t see this instance as an indicator of a larger problem at the Columbia Generating System.

After a week’s study, the NRC will issue public findings in 45 days. Energy Northwest says it takes every inspection seriously, and will share its information with the NRC.

On the Web:

Columbia Generating Station - Energy Northwest 
Nuclear reactors - Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.