Wash. nuclear plant to receive license renewal

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- The only commercial nuclear power plant in the Northwest is hosting an event Thursday to mark the extension of the plant's operating license.

Plant operator Energy Northwest says it has been told informally by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the Columbia Generating Station's license will be extended for an additional 20 years.

According to the Tri-City Herald (http://bit.ly/K17ET8), Energy Northwest says official approval of the license renewal is expected next week. The agency says Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to attend Thursday's event.

The plant located near Richland, Wash., provides about 3 percent of the region's power, roughly enough electricity for 1 million homes. A license renewal will allow the plant to operate until 2043.

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