Columbia Generating Station Offline

RICHLAND, Wash. – Columbia Generating Station operators safely shut down the reactor at approximately 1:30 p.m. following an indication of the loss of a system that is used for equipment cooling.

All systems needed to safely shut down the plant, including multiple redundant safety systems, are operating as expected and there is no threat to public health or safety. The system involved provides cooling to equipment in the plant, including reactor recirculation pumps and heat exchangers.

Reactor unplanned shutdowns—or scrams—are not unusual in the nuclear industry. On average, one in every two of the nation’s nearly 100 reactors scram annually. Prior to today, however, Columbia had not experienced a scram in more than six years, since November 2009.

“While this certainly isn’t optimal, we plan to be back online after a very thorough review of the actions or equipment issues that led to the scram,” said Brad Sawatzke, chief operating officer.

About Energy Northwest                

Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear energy facility. These projects provide enough reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy to power more than a million homes each year, and that carbon-free electricity is provided at the cost of generation. As a Washington state, joint action agency, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs.