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Energy Northwest, Inc., will meet with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) May 2 to discuss a preliminary inspection finding about shipping low-level waste from the Columbia Generating Station near Richland, WA, to a disposal facility.

A three-member NRC team conducted a special inspection at the Columbia Generating Station to review the circumstances surrounding a Nov. 9 incident in which workers at the plant shipped a package of low-level nuclear waste to the U.S. Ecology disposal facility about 10 miles from the plant.

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The NRC determined workers used the wrong shipping container given the radioactivity level of the waste.

The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at commercial nuclear plants with a color-coded process that classifies inspection findings as green, white, yellow or red in order of increasing safety significance.

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The NRC determined the inspection finding has low to moderate (white) safety significance, which may require additional inspections, regulatory actions and oversight.

No decision on the safety significance of the finding or any additional NRC actions will be made at the conference. That decision will occur later.

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