A Look Inside the Northwest's Only Nuclear Power Plant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A Look Inside the Northwest's Only Nuclear Power Plant

RICHLAND, Wash.- Energy Northwest opened the doors to the northwest's only nuclear power plant Wednesday.

Most of the plant kind of feels like a dungeon, but once you get in the reactor, it's really pretty cool.

It doesn't look like much on the outside, but look closely at the spent fuel pool surrounding the reactor, and you can see a little bit of purple glow coming off the uranium fuel rods.  The plant has been shut down for refueling for about two weeks, that's why KNDU was allowed unprecedented access to areas usually off limits to everyone, even the people who work there.

'The nuclear steam is too radioactive, the dose rates would be too high to allow people just to come in here and walk around.  If there's a need, we could have somebody come in here, but when there's not a need, we wouldn't want people picking up unnecessary dose," said Todd Borak, who helps manage the chemicals in the plant.

KNDU didn't get to go everywhere, certain areas like this one that's protected by a three foot thick concrete door, were off limits to anyone not suited up.