Hanford

NRC says nuclear plant near Richland operated safely

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the Columbia Generating Station operated safely in 2015.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the Columbia Generating Station operated safely in 2015.

The nuclear power plant near Richland operated safely in 2015 and needs no more oversight than normal, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

An annual review of the Columbia Generating Station had findings of only “green,” or very low, safety significance and all performance indicators were within the expected range, according to the NRC.

If the NRC had found issues, it would be scheduling more inspections than usual of the plant this year.

The NRC review comes as Energy Northwest governing boards recently hired an outside investigator to look into claims in anonymous letters alleging information about sub-par performance of the plant has been hidden from the its governing boards, employees and the public. Although unsigned, the letters say they are from a group of unnamed Energy Northwest employees.

The NRC will hold a public open house from 5 to 7 p.m. March 17 in Conference Room B of the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive. A formal presentation is not planned, but the public can ask questions about the plant’s performance in 2015 and the agency’s oversight plans for this year.

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