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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Energy Northwest Trying To Improve; Low Rating From Nuclear Non-Profit

[What is interesting about this story is that, in the past, INPO assessment results are confidential. There was a news report a few months back on San Onofre that also included INPO assessment information. Perhaps the media is delving more into the INPO assessments and we may see more INPO related information become public?]


Anna King (2010-11-04)

RICHLAND, WA (N3) - Energy Northwest's nuclear power plant in southcentral Washington ranks as one of the two worst in the country for operations and staff. KPLU's Anna King reports.

The critical review was by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. This non-profit was formed after the Three Mile Island accident in the late 70s to watch over nuclear power producers and is funded by the nuclear power industry itself. The report criticized Energy Northwest for six unplanned plant shutdowns in the past two years. Energy Northwest's Rochelle Olson says a string of equipment issues prompted the shutdowns but things have changed.

Rochelle Olson: "The improvement plans we've put in place in 2009 have started to work. And we will continue focusing on that to insure operations remain reliable for the region."

The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations' next review of Energy Northwest will be in 2012.

I'm Anna King in Richland.


Carl said...

Could it be that the BPA, as reported in the NY Times, has required the NPP to load-follow the new, but highly variable wind power?

rsm said...

Certainly the Columbia Station shows the load following is not an issue (technically) with nuclear power. INPO factors that in to their assessments and load following is probably not a major factor. INPO has many indicators that, should a unit miss several, they will get a lower rating from INPO. It is important to note that INPO is NOT the regulator. The NRC decides if the plant is safe to operate, while INPO's mission is to get the plants to perform well above the NRC requirements.

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