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Tri-Cities Lands New National Energy Lab, Growing Cleanup Firm

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A new 22,000-square-foot energy research lab will break ground in the spring. It’s part of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.";

Southeast Washington is getting an economic boost after two announcements were made on Wednesday that are expected to lead to new jobs in the region.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is building a $10 million facility in north Richland near the rest of the lab’s campus. The facility will house research on the power grid's reliability, renewable energy and greater energy efficiency in buildings.

The U.S. Department of Energy is paying for the construction of the 22,000-square-foot lab.

“This constitutes new capability that’s absolutely critical to the future of PNNL,” said Laboratory Director Mike Kluse.

Also announced in the Tri-Cities is that a radioactive and hazardous waste cleanup company called Kurion has taken over another firm in Richland. This means the California-based company will triple in size to tackle nasty messes in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

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.