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January 4, 2002

Nuclear plant cited for poor planning

RICHLAND (AP) -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited the Northwest's only nuclear power plant for inadequate emergency preparedness.

Energy Northwest, which operates the 1,200-megawatt Columbia Generating Station at the Hanford nuclear reservation, said Wednesday it had not decided yet whether to appeal the finding.

The NRC met with representatives of the utility in November to discuss inspectors' reports that said in the event of an radiation emergency at Columbia Generating Station, contractors and tenants working near a mothballed reactor, called WNP-1, might not be notified promptly or receive proper protection.

While Energy Northwest acknowledged that improvements could be made to the plan, its executives contend it met safety standards.

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