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Contractor Sues Energy Northwest
Over Nuclear Plant Work

by Associated Press
The Herald, November 13, 2011

(Steve Ringman) The spent-fuel pool that holds used fuel rods is similar to those damaged at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex. Nuclear experts say it's the most vulnerable part of the plant. RICHLAND -- A contractor hired to perform work at the state's only nuclear power plant is suing the plant's operator, Energy Northwest, saying it withheld key information about the work to be done.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy said not getting the information made the work take longer than necessary and cost it about $50 million.

The The Herald reported that the contractor had a $33 million contract to replace the 26-year-old condenser at the Columbia Generating Station near Richland this spring. The condenser turns steam generated by boiling water in the reactor back into water for reuse in the plant.

The complaint says the project required more work than Energy Northwest let on. Among other problems, it says there was more radiological contamination than expected.

Energy Northwest spokeswoman Rochelle Olson said the plant operator disputes the contractor's allegations. Officials have said previously that Babcock & Wilcox was ill-prepared for the job.

The plant generates enough electricity for about 1 million homes.

Related Pages:
Community Vital to Hanford Cleanup by Matt McCormick and Stacy Charboneau, The Herald, 4/34/11

Associated Press
Contractor Sues Energy Northwest Over Nuclear Plant Work
The Herald, November 13, 2011

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