Washington nuclear power plant sets generation record

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - A Washington nuclear power plant has set a record for annual generation despite two unexpected outages in 2016.

The Tri-City Herald reports  that Energy Northwest says the Columbia Generating Station in Richland sent 9.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity to the grid last year, topping its previous record of 9.5 million in 2014.

Energy Northwest says the plant's output has been increasing in part because of maintenance and upgrades done every other year when it shuts down in the spring to replace fuel. The next refueling outage is schedule to begin May 13.

The plant had its first unplanned outage in more than six years in March because of issues with its cooling equipment, followed by another shutdown in December because of a transmission line problem.