WNP revival?

30 April 2001

Two Republican congressmen from Washington state are urging Congress to fund a $1 million study to determine whether two cancelled nuclear plants in Washington – WNP 1 in Richland and WNP 3 in Satsop – can be resuscitated to help meet booming demand for electricity in the US Northwest. The two plants, each 1250 MWe PWRs, were terminated when they were 63% and 76% complete, respectively. A third WNP unit – Unit 2 – was completed and has been operating since 1984.

The congressmen, Doc Hastings and George Nethercutt, say the terminated plants’ potential electrical output is too significant to be ignored. The Bonneville Power Administration, which owns the bonds for the 20-year-old partially built plants, favours such a study. In the Senate, meanwhile, legislation introduced earlier this year by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, would authorise the Department of Energy to study the potential for completing unfinished nuclear plants, like the WNP plants, throughout the United States. After completing the study, the DoE would recommend to Congress actions for bringing them on line.

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