Columbia nuclear plant goes offline over weekend

The 1,200-MW Energy Northwest Columbia nuclear plant in Richland, Washington went offline unexpectedly over the weekend, according to an event report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The boiling water reactor (BWR) facility was listed at zero power early Dec. 19, according to data from NRC.

“On December 18, 2016 at time 1124 PST the plant experienced a full reactor scram. Preliminary investigations indicate that the scram was caused by a load reject from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Ashe substation,” according to the event report filed with NRC.

The nuclear plant provides about 10% of the power in the state of Washington. Energy Northwest is one of many public power joint action agencies across the United States. Energy Northwest has 27 member public utility districts and municipalities.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at