"Energy Northwest's nuclear power plant near Richland, Wash., has been rated as one of two nuclear plants in the nation that are in greatest need of operational and human performance improvement.
New chief executive Mark Reddemann sent that message to employees Monday after a briefing Friday by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. The nonprofit INPO, paid for by the nuclear industry, does inspections of the nation's 104 nuclear power plants every two years.
Problems occurred primarily in 2009 when the Columbia Generating Station had a series of scrams, or unplanned shutdowns. The scrams started with one in late 2008, followed by five more through November 2009. 'The messages INPO delivered were not unexpected,' Reddemann told employees in a memo. 'While we are operating the plant safely, improvements are needed in a wide range of areas.'"