Savings possible by shutting down nuclear power plant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Savings possible by shutting down nuclear power plant

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PORTLAND, OR - A new study says Pacific Northwest ratepayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars if the Bonneville Power Administration and Energy Northwest close the region's only commercial nuclear power plant and replace its output with renewable energy.

The Portland-based McCullough Research consulting firm estimated savings from $261.2 million to $530.7 million over 10 years due to historically low renewable energy prices.

The report on the plant in Richland, Washington was commissioned by the anti-nuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Energy Northwest, a public utility consortium that operates the plant, is criticizing the report.

It says saying the plant had set generating records in four of the past five years.

Bonneville says the plant's power-generating capacity is critical when water conditions are low.