<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>96 Hanford Nuke Plant Restarts after Refueling, Associated Press, The Seattle Times</TITLE> </HEAD> <body bgcolor="FFFFFF" text="000000" link="0000FF" vlink="FF0000" alink="0000FF"> <basefont face="Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000033"> <TABLE border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0"> <TR align="left" valign="top"> <td><small> <A href="https://sgi25.netservers.net/bluefish.org/thefilm.htm">the film</A><br> <A href="forum.htm">forum</A><br> <A href="library.htm">library</A><br> <A href="tutorial.htm">tutorial</A><br> <A href="contact.htm">contact</A> </small></td> <TD> <A href="economic.htm"><img src="images/economic.gif" border="0" width="110" height="110" align="center" alt="Economic and dam related articles"></a> <TD> <CENTER><FONT FACE="Arial, Helvetica" COLOR="0000FF"> <strong><BIG><H2 align="center">Hanford Nuke Plant Restarts after Refueling</H2> </BIG></STRONG></FONT><FONT COLOR="FF0000">by Associated Press <BR>The Seattle Times, June 26, 2007</FONT></CENTER> </TABLE> <HR> <p align="left"> RICHLAND, Wash. - The Columbia Generating Station, the only commercial nuclear power plant in Washington, has resumed operation after a 44-day outage for maintenance and refueling.

The station, which produces enough electricity for 500,000 homes, reconnected Sunday night to the Northwest power grid, according to Energy Northwest, which operates the plant.

The plant on the Hanford nuclear reservation in southeast Washington has been in commercial operation since 1984. Its electricity is distributed throughout the region by the Bonneville Power Administration.

Power from the station accounts for about 10 percent to 12 percent of BPA's total electricity, said Brad Peck, a spokesman for Energy Northwest. When the plant is down, the company must buy its power on the open market to make up for the lost supply, he said.

The agency is "thrilled to have the plant back on line. We look forward to a long and reliable operating cycle," said Andy Rapacz, BPA's manager of contract generating resources.

As part of its biennial refueling shutdown, about a third of the 764 nuclear fuel rods in the reactor core were replaced. They typically remain in the reactor for six years before being moved to a used fuel pool and eventually to onsite storage containers.

Energy Northwest had set a goal of 38 days to complete the work.

"We came close to our 38-day target, but ultimately safety and quality of work are higher priorities than the schedule," outage manager Ron Hogue said Tuesday. "Our real goal was to complete the work as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety and quality of work. We achieved that goal."

More than 2,900 people worked on the outage, including 1,000 Energy Northwest employees and more than 1,900 temporary and contract workers from across the nation.

Plant General Manager Tom Lynch was confident the plant will perform well through the upcoming 24-month operating cycle.

"The plant is in outstanding condition; perhaps as good as I've seen any plant coming out of a major refueling and maintenance outage," he said.

In early April, authorities declared an alert at the plant after detecting a small electrical fire in a backup transformer that supplies electricity to parts of the plant when needed. No radioactivity was released, and the plant remained operating.

<HR> <strong>Associated Press</strong><br> <A href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003763556_webhanford26.html"> <I>Hanford Nuke Plant Restarts after Refueling</I></a><BR> <strong>The Seattle Times</STRONG>, June 26, 2007 <HR> <P align="center"><CENTER> <BIG><strong>See what you can learn</STRONG></BIG><P> <A href="topic.htm">learn more on topics covered in the film</A><BR> <A href="https://sgi25.netservers.net/bluefish.org/video.htm">see the video</A><BR> <A href="script.htm">read the script</A><BR> <A href="songs.htm">learn the songs</A><BR> <A href="forum.htm">discussion forum</A><BR> <IMG src="salmon_swimming_md_wht.gif" width=150 height=70 alt="salmon animation"> </CENTER> </basefont> </body> </HTML>