Federal government wants Energy Northwest to help develop new nuclear plants

Energy Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – The federal government has chosen the operator of a nuclear power plant near Richland to help develop the next generation of nuclear energy facilities, raising the possibility of a new reactor in central Washington state.

The U.S. Department of Energy this week announced that Energy Northwest, which operates the only nuclear power plant in the Northwest, will be part of a team developing the next generation of nuclear energy plants.

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A spokesman for Energy Northwest warned that the decision on where to build new commercial nuclear power plants is years away.

The Tri-Cities region has a long history in the nuclear industry, dating back to its selection by the Manhattan Project in World War II as a site to help develop the atomic bomb.