RICHLAND, Wash. -- Operators of Washington state's only commercial nuclear power plant are reacting to a low reliability rating.
The nuclear industry's own rating organization found that the Columbia Generating Station in Richland is one of the two plants in the nation in the greatest need of improvements.
The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations inspects more than one hundred plants every two years.
Energy Northwest, which operates the Richland station, points out that the study is based largely on problems that occurred in 2008 and 2009 when there was a series of unplanned shutdowns.
Energy Northwest spokeswoman Rochelle Olson told King 5 News that the facility has been operating safely and reliably with no shutdowns for nearly a year.
She also said the company has improvements in place and is strengthening operations at the plant, which produces enough nuclear energy to power a million households.