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Nuclear energy back on the grid following turbine maintenance

News Release

​​RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Northwest operators reconnected Columbia Generating Station to the northwest power grid Monday afternoon following a planned maintenance outage.

Workers installed 1.5-pound balance weights on each end of a 34-foot, 133-ton low-pressure turbine that had been replaced as part of Columbia's life-cycle maintenance plan during the station's spring refueling outage.
The agency had been closely monitoring the turbine's performance and planned for an outage if it became necessary. Turbine vibrations reached a pre-determined engineering setpoint, and the station was taken offline Dec. 6. Increased vibrations following turbine replacement are not uncommon, and the weights help balance the vibrations and ensure the turbine's reliability for continuous long-term operation.

Additional maintenance tasks were also completed during the week to ensure Columbia continues to produce reliable, carbon-free power for the region.

“I'm proud of the team for the rigorous planning and safe performance of the work that'll improve equipment reliability at Columbia," said Dave Brown, site vice president.  

“We're all glad to be back online producing clean energy for the northwest."  


About Energy Northwest

Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar, battery storage and wind projects – and the Northwest's only nuclear power facility. These projects provide carbon-free electricity at the cost of generation – enough clean, cost-effective and reliable energy to power more than a million homes each year. As an independent joint operating agency of Washington state, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million customers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members' needs.  

Kelly Rae, Public Affairs, 509-372-5376

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