The utility Energy Northwest is launching a new TV ad campaign to improve the image of nuclear power. But the ads touting nuclear energy as green might be a tough sell.
Energy Northwest operates the only commercial nuclear power plant in the region. It’s called the Columbia Generating Station in Richland. The company’s new ad ends this way: "Nuclear energy. Reliable. Affordable. Environmentally responsible."
But nuclear power just isn’t on most Northwest residents’ radar. So says John Horvick. He’s a pollster with DHM Research in Portland. He says based on his firm’s surveys, there’s keen interest in sources like wind, solar, tidal and biomass. “We’re not really picking up a lot of interest in nuclear or a lot of opposition either," Horvick says. "It’s not as a top-of-mind issue as some of those other sources are.”
Energy Northwest spokesman John Dobken says nuclear power is a steady source of electricity that doesn’t pollute the air.
The Columbia Generating Station is going through its federal relicensing process.