Czech company VF and US-based HI-Q Environmental Products (HI-Q) have secured a contract from Energy Northwest to provide replacement plant vent stack radiation monitoring system for the Columbia Generating Station in the US.

The scope of the contract also includes installation and start up support, site acceptance testing and training for the company’s personnel in addition to provisions for maintaining a stock of critical spare parts at HI-Q’s facility in San Diego, California for overnight shipment to the plant.

The radiation monitor equipment featuring a measurement and sampling system for noble gas, particulate and iodine radioactive isotopes, continuously measures releases from the plant vent during both normal and post accident plant operating conditions.

"The scope of the contract also includes installation and start up support, site acceptance testing and training for the company’s personnel."

Located 16km north of Richland, Washington, the plant produces approximately 1,170MW of electricity, which is enough to meet approximately10% of Washington’s power needs and 4% of all the power used in the Pacific North-west.

The plant has provided all of its output to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) at production cost under a formal ‘net billing’ agreement in which BPA pays the maintenance costs. BPA in turn distributes the electricity to electric utility systems throughout the north-west.

The boiling-water nuclear reactor plant had received a construction permit in March 1973 and an operating license from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in December 1983, and had become operational in 1984.

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Spanning across approximately 1,089 acres of land, the plant, which had operating license until 20 December 2023, has been renewed by an additional 20 years until December 2043.

Image: Columbia Generating Station near Richland, Washington. Photo: courtesy of VF.