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Nuke plant sets operations record

Energy Northwest set a record for its nuclear power plant near Richland at 1:47 a.m. Thursday, operating for 506 consecutive days.

The previous record for the Columbia Generating Station was 505 days of producing nuclear energy, set in April 2011.

The reactor produced more than 13.25 million megawatt hours of electricity during its run. It produced almost 97 percent of the maximum amount of electricity production possible, according to Energy Northwest.

The run began after the plant restarted following Columbia’s 2013 refueling and maintenance outage, which ended June 25, 2013. Columbia’s next refueling outage is to begin May 9.

The reactor hit five years without an unplanned shutdown this month. That’s a turnaround from the latter half of 2008 through most of 2009, when the plant had six unplanned shutdowns, or scrams.