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Investigation continues as Richland nuclear power plant restarts via Tri-City Herald

The nuclear power plant near Richland reconnected to the regional power grid Thursday morning after shutting down unexpectedly six days ago.

It is the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant. It provides electricity to 92 Northwest utilities, equivalent to the power that would be used by a city the size of Seattle.

The investigation into the issue that caused the Columbia Generating Station to scram, or unexpectedly shut down, continues.

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No information has been released on how many days it will take the plant to return to full production. It has 1,207 megawatts of gross capacity.

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The plant’s most recent previous scram was in August, when plant operators shut the plant down after an air removal valve in the plant’s turbine building closed. It caused a loss of vacuum pressure in the system that turns steam back into water for reuse of the plant.

That led to a brief decrease in the water level in the reactor.

Before that, the plant shut down unexpectedly in December 2016. The scram was in response to a problem caused by cold weather at the Bonneville Power Administration’s nearby Ashe Substation.

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