Nuclear power is an important part of our power mix that comes from the Columbia Generating Station. Columbia is the only commercial nuclear energy facility in the region. All of its output is provided to the Bonneville Power Administration for distribution.
The Columbia Generating Station nuclear facility is the third largest electricity generator in Washington, behind Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. Its 1,190 gross megawatts can power the city of Seattle, and is equivalent to about 10 percent of the electricity generated in Washington and 4 percent of all electricity used in the Pacific Northwest.
Columbia began delivering power to the region in 1984. Since then it has provided billions of dollars worth of electricity while emitting virtually no greenhouse gases or carbon emissions commonly associated with natural gas, coal and other fossil fuel powered plants. [source: Energy-northwest.com]
Did you know?
- Nuclear power accounts for 9 percent of the United States.
- One in five homes in the United States is powered by nuclear energy.
- Nuclear power plants are thermal plants. They use heat produced by nuclear fission to convert water into high-pressure steam. The steam drives a turbine generator to make electricity. The 99 nuclear reactors in the United States produce approximately 20 percent of the nation's electricity. Columbia Generating Station provides nearly 10 percent of Washington state's energy, or enough to power about one million homes.