Outage extended for Hanford nuclear plant

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- The outage at the Hanford nuclear power plant could extend into August.

The Columbia Generating Station was supposed to restart by the end of this month after an 80-day outage -- the longest in its 26-year history -- for refueling and to replace the condenser, which turns steam back into water for the plant.

The Tri-City Herald reports the contractor on the $33 million condenser project, Babcock and Wilcox Co., is behind schedule. Spokesman Jud Simmons says workers encountered unanticipated challenges.

Energy Northwest executives went into a closed session at Wednesday's meeting to discuss possible litigation.

The outage began April 6. The 1,150-megawatt plant provides about 3 percent of the region's power, roughly enough electricity for 1 million homes.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com