Energy Northwest shuts down plant

The Columbia Generating Station near Richland was shut down late Sunday morning due to an equipment malfunction. 

Energy Northwest says the cold weather caused the loss of the 500 kilovolt line connecting the nuclear plant’s main output transformers to the substation. But officials say the blame is not with Energy Northwest.

Spokesman John Dobken says the plant’s output breakers responded as they are designed to perform and separated the plant from any potential grid transients. Columbia’s operating crew then successfully stabilized the plant.

Plant manager Bob Schuetz says it’s unfortunate that this happened while Energy Northwest was on the way to closing out what still may be a record generation year.

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