Northwest nuke plant gets new 20-year license

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the license for the Northwest's only commercial nuclear power plant by an additional 20 years.

The license announced Wednesday extends operations at Columbia Generating Station through 2043.

The 1,150-megawatt plant located north of Richland provides about 3 percent of the region's power. That's enough electricity for roughly 1 million homes.

The plant is operated by Energy Northwest, a public power consortium composed of 28 member utilities. Energy Northwest began pursuing license renewal for the plant in 2007. The more than 2,200-page formal application was submitted to the NRC in January 2010.