Power Generation / Preventive Maintenance

Richland nuclear plant under ‘no touch’ order during heat wave

By Annette Cary, for TriCity Herald

Aug 03, 2017

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At the nuclear power plant near Richland this week, the rule is “no touch.”

The Bonneville Power Administration asked Energy Northwest not to do any significant maintenance or surveillance that in any way would jeopardize the Columbia Generating Station from operating at 100 percent power, said Energy Northwest spokesman Mike Paoli.

With a heat wave settling over the Northwest, BPA is watching for its summertime record of electricity demand to fall. The Tri-Cities is under a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Friday, with the National Weather Service expecting temperatures to peak at 104 degrees that day.

The current forecast is down a couple of degrees from earlier forecasts.

The smoke from wildfires that is fouling the air also is providing some cooling, according to the weather service. Sunlight hitting the smoke is reflected away from the Earth.

Highs still are expected to remain in the triple digits at least through Monday.

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