Print Friendly and PDF
columbia generating station northwest energy

NRC faults Energy Northwest in WA worker contamination event

1 min read

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.

Key quote:

“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.”

Big picture:

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.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

Everyone is likely overexposed to BPA

If you're using plastic, you're likely above acceptable health safety levels.

Opinion: The global food system is failing small-scale farmers — here’s how to fix it

Maybe we don’t need Jamaican coffee in the middle of US winter.

LISTEN: Bruce Lanphear on how we’re failing to protect people from pesticides

Lanphear recently resigned as the co-chair of the Health Canada scientific advisory committee on pest control products.

How does cannabis impact developing brains?

As states increasingly legalize or decriminalize marijuana, some experts warn that early exposure may be linked to mental health problems later in life.

Agents of Change in Environmental Justice program accepting applications

Do you find that public voices in science are lacking diversity and want to help create change? We want to hear from you.