Energy Northwest officials say Monday's shutdown was not unusual, and all systems in the plant were, and continue, to operate correctly.

Around 1:30pm Monday, workers at the Columbia Generating Station nuclear reactor at Hanford shut it down after experiencing a loss of a certain system that helps provide supplemental cooling for some of the reactor's equipment.

The system in question provided cooling to certain types of equipment, including heat exchangers and reactor recirculation pumps. Officials say unplanned shutdowns, or 'scrams', are not uncommon. On average, 1-2 of the nation's 100 nuclear reactors are shut down in unplanned fashion each year. Columbia Generating Station has not had an unplanned shutdown since 2009.

Officials say the plant will stay offline until a thorough inspection of the equipment in question is performed, There was no danger to the public, and no unusual or dangerous activity resulted from the scram. The shutdown was initiated by workers after noticing the certain equipment system was not performing correctly.


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