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Wash. nuclear plant a step closer to new license

RICHLAND, Wash. — The only commercial nuclear power plant in the Northwest is one step closer to a new, 20-year license.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday issued its final supplemental environmental impact statement for renewing the operating license for Columbia Generating Station.

The south-central Washington plant provides about 3 percent of the region's power, roughly enough electricity for 1 million homes. Its current license expires in 2023.

Plant operator Energy Northwest submitted an application in 2010 to extend that license by 20 years. The NRC still must review committee recommendations before making a final decision on whether to renew the license.

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