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Environmental Groups Sue over Hanford Nuclear Reactor

Environmental groups want to shut down Hanford nuclear reactor
Environmental groups want to shut down Hanford nuclear reactor (Photo by Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)

Three Northwest environmental groups are suing a state agency over what they claim is the effect of the Energy Northwest Nuclear reactor at Hanford on Columbia River water.

The Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Northwest Environmental Associates, and Columbia Riverkeeper filed the suit in Thurston County court against the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

The groups are suing the Council because they are the ones who issued what is called the “pollution permit”, or the permission to use Columbia river water for cooling the Energy Northwest Generating Station.   The reactor utilizes about 20 million gallons of water daily to cool the reactor when it’s in operation.

The groups claim the plant violates clean water and other standards for protecting species of fish and wildlife in the river.

One can only draw the conclusion their eventual goal is to shut down the reactor.   the Columbia Generating station is the ONLY nuclear reactor in the Pacific Northwest, and provides about 10% of all electrical energy in Washington state, and four percent of all energy used in the region.

The Bonneville Power Administration said in 2013 studies have shown if the reactor were shut down,  consumers would pay an extra $2.5 billion dollars for electricity over the next 20 years.   The study compared what would happen if the nuclear generated electricity were replaced by that derived from natural gas.

BPA officials refuted claims by environmental groups that it’s too expensive to operate for the energy it delivers.  BPA officials said if you take 1,100 megwatts out of the mix of Northwest Energy, it would have a domino effect on the rest of the power grid and dramatically raise consumer prices.

Once again these energy groups propose to shut down nuclear power plants,  they attack coal and oil, and even hydroelectric power.   Apparently they believe windmills, turbines and solar energy can meet the needs of the Pacific Northwest.   As the disastrous green efforts in and around Seattle have shown, that is not the case.

While they have plenty of progressive money behind them, and always attack what they believe are energy sources that are dangers to the environment, they never offer cost-effective solutions or alternatives.  If you check their websites, you will see their mission is to restrict, regulate and remove human “control” from the environment, but nowhere on their sites to they offer viable, affordable energy solutions.

 

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