NRC faults Energy Northwest in WA worker contamination event
Energy Northwest, the operator of the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant in the Pacific Northwest, failed to accurately measure the exposure of workers to radioactive material during an incident two years ago, writes Annette Cary in the Tri-City Herald.
In a nutshell:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a "white finding," indicating low to moderate safety significance, after workers were unexpectedly exposed to radiation in May 2021. The NRC's inspection report revealed that Energy Northwest had inadequate procedures and equipment for assessing and monitoring internal radioactive exposure in workers, leading to an inability to properly evaluate the dose accrued by the affected individuals.
“In the nuclear industry, safety is our top priority, and we are held to the highest standards,” Energy Northwest CEO Bob Schuetz said. “In this instance, we did not live up to that standard, and we will work with the NRC to complete the follow-up inspection to be able to return Columbia Generating Station to top industry performance.”
The incident at the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant raises concerns about public health risks. The failure to accurately measure the internal radioactive exposure of workers highlights potential gaps in assessing the extent of contamination. These shortcomings, combined with inadequate procedures and equipment, pose a significant challenge in evaluating the potential impact on public health and safety, emphasizing the need for stringent measures to prevent any release of contamination into the environment.
Read more about this incident here.