May 29, 2008 / 11:28 AM / in 12 years

Energy Northwest Columbia reactor slips to 85 pct

NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - Energy Northwest’s 1,131-megawatt Columbia nuclear power generating station in Washington State was at 85 percent power early Thursday, down from full power on Wednesday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in its power reactor status report.

It was not immediately known why the unit, in Richland, Washington, about 145 miles southwest of Spokane, had been reduced.

One MW powers about 800 homes in Washington State.

Energy Northwest told the NRC it would file in Jan. 2010 for a 20-year extension of the original 40-year operating license for the reactor, which entered service in 1984.

After the NRC accepts the application, it usually takes the nuclear regulator about 22 months to make a decision on a license renewal without a hearing and about 30 months with a hearing.

Energy Northwest, of Richland, Washington, is a joint operating company comprising 20 member utilities that own and operate about 1,200 MW of generating capacity, which it supplies to the utilities.

The federal Bonneville Power Administration markets the power from the reactor. (Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by John Picinich)

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