Federal Government Begins Special Inspection At Southeast Washington Nuclear Power Plant

Jul 23, 2013

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.  But he says it's still worth a closer look.

“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.

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.

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network