BPA Sees $12.25 Million Savingsby Chris Mulick, Herald staff writer
Tri-City Herald, January 27, 2005
The Bonneville Power Administration got a $12.25 million gift Wednesday when Energy Northwest announced planned savings and surplus property sales from its demolition efforts at two unfinished nuclear power plants.
Of that, $7 million will come in savings in what was a $45 million plan to seal up plant Nos. 1 and 4 north of Richland near the operating Columbia Generating Station.
The three plants were part of a failed five-plant nuclear construction campaign by the former Washington Public Power Supply System. Only Columbia was ever finished and the public power consortium defaulted on $2.25 billion in bonds to build two of the others.
Under an agreement with the state Energy Facility Siting Evaluation Council, Energy Northwest is to restore the sites of plants 1 and 4 by 2026.
An amendment to that agreement will allow Energy Northwest to save $7 million, in part by leaving two large power block buildings that could be available for lease as soon as early next year.
Other provisions include changes allowing Energy Northwest to leave existing walls of what was to be Plant No. 4's containment building as they are rather than bringing them down to a lower level.
Energy Northwest also plans to expedite the restoration of many buildings at the site, with work on most of them now expected to wrap up this year. All of the initial work to alleviate health and safety concerns, such as replacing doors and plugging pits, is expected to wrap up by July 1.
"Our primary interest in this effort is to ensure the restoration is done in a timely and environmentally sensitive manner," Jim Luce, former chairman of the siting council, said in a news release. "Getting most of the site restoration done years earlier at lower cost is the responsible approach."
Bonneville also will benefit from $5.25 million generated through the sale of two backup diesel generators and pieces of condenser tubes that were chopped up for their copper. The never-used generators were bought by another nuclear site for their parts.
Energy Northwest still has lots of unused equipment from the construction campaign and it wasn't clear that the equipment would ever be sold.
"This truly is being good stewards of the land while also saving ratepayers money," said Energy Northwest Vice President Jack Baker.
Nuclear Debt Plan Debated by Chris Mulick, Tri-City Herald, 12/9/4
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