The Northwest’s Only Nuclear Energy Facility Turns 30 Years Old - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

The Northwest’s Only Nuclear Energy Facility Turns 30 Years Old

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Employees celebrated 30 years of providing Northwest customers with energy. Employees celebrated 30 years of providing Northwest customers with energy.
RICHLAND, WA- Saturday marked the 30th anniversary, a major milestone, for the Northwest's only nuclear energy facility, the Columbia Generating Station.

Employees celebrated their efforts to make the Columbia Generating Station one of the cleanest and safest around.  They have broken all sorts of records, but they are not done yet.  The plant still has their eyes on the future and what else they can do for the Northwest.

“It's great to be able to get with all the people who made it happen, our employees and recognize them for their tremendous work,” said Brad Sawatzke, Chief Nuclear Officer.

More than 1,000 employees celebrated Columbia's start, which was on December 13, 1984, with a western-themed luncheon.

Since the beginning, Columbia has set records for safety and generation.  This year, more than 9.7-megawatt hours were sent to the grid and the plant has been operating for 534 days without stopping, breaking another record it set in 2011.  Working to make the plant better has brought success.

“It's investing in the power plant, putting the right resources to work to ensure that the people in the Northwest can rely on Columbia for years to come.  With our license renewal, we're going to be here for a long time and we want to make sure we continue to be predictable,” said Sawatzke.

“For the average citizen, this is very important because it shows that Energy Northwest is a safe company and we're cost effective,” said Ed Prilucik, Industrial Safety Program Manager.

It is estimated that in the next 30 years, Northwest customers will save nearly 1.7 billion dollars.

Employees said it is the workers that helped make the plant a success.

“We all work together, work safely, and it's a team challenge for every one of us,” said Prilucik.

Energy Northwest said the plant is also carbon-free and prevents 4.4 million metric tons of CO2 from eCO 2ring the atmosphere.

Going into the future, they hope to keep looking for new ways to advance their efficiency and to better serve the Northwest.
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