Columbia Generating Station Receives 20-year Extension - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Columbia Generating Station Receives 20-year Extension

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RICHLAND, Wash., -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Columbia Generating Station's license for an additional 20 years – extending operation of the plant through 2043.

Commission officials and Energy Northwest CEO Mark Reddemann attended the small signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon.

Energy Northwest, owner and operator of Columbia, submitted the license renewal application to the NRC in January 2010. The decision from the NRC comes after a lengthy and thorough review process, requiring Columbia to demonstrate it meets technical, safety and environmental requirements through the additional 20 years of operation.

"If it were not for your continued commitment to safety and integrity, re-licensing would not have been achievable," said U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, in a message to employees. "I will continue to do everything I can to support your current operations and to encourage the further development of nuclear energy in our state."

The Northwest's only commercially-operated nuclear energy facility provides nearly 10 percent of all power generated in Washington state.