Energy NW asked not to use plutonium reactor fuel - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Energy NW asked not to use plutonium reactor fuel

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - Friends of the Earth is calling upon Energy Northwest not to consider using nuclear reactor fuel derived from weapons-grade plutonium at its Columbia Generating Station located next to Hanford.

The environmental organization says it has obtained Department of Energy documents that say the public power consortium is evaluating the potential use of plutonium mixed oxide fuel at the reactor. It says the use of such fuel poses unacceptable risks and costs.

The government says the fuel could produce energy while disposing of plutonium from abandoned nuclear weapons. The Energy Department is building a plant in South Carolina to make the fuel.

Energy Northwest spokeswoman Rochelle Olson says it has no plans to use the fuel until studies prove it would be safe, economical and technically feasible.