Fukushima anniversary: B.C. looks south to closest nuclear plant

Sitting a six-hour drive south of Vancouver, the Columbia Generating Station is B.C.'s closet nuclear plant. As we near the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, VO investigates.

The Columbia Generating Station, six hours from Vancouver, is designed to withstand a 6.9-magnitude earthquake.

An almost featureless long, flat stretch of highway leads to the Columbia Generating Station, near Hanford, Washington – the closest nuclear plant to B.C. and one that raises questions of how safe Canadians are in the event of a disaster to our south.

Only 550 kilometres from Vancouver, the facility – a slightly newer model than Fukushima's General Electric Mark 1 plants – rises like a cube from the fields, unlike the famed cones of the Simpsons or the ill-fated Three Mile Island plant.

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the multiple nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan last March 11, leading to a long chain of failures, meltdowns and toxic waste leaks, it caused Columbia's plant regulatory affairs manager to reflect – and, he told the Vancouver Observer, to act.

More in News

Cops catch crook on Craigslist

With the victim’s help, the VPD have caught another person selling a stolen bike on Craigslist. On October 17th, a 64-year-old Kitsilano resident discovered someone had stolen his bike. He reported...

Drug death toll reaches new peak in B.C. with 555 deaths in nine months

More people in British Columbia have died in the first nine months of this year from illicit drug overdoses compared with all of last year and despite the declaration of a public health emergency....

Windy, stormy weather complicates clean-up operations for sunken B.C. tug

Blustery, wet weather thwarted efforts Thursday to assess the fallout of a sunken tugboat leaking diesel in a remote region off British Columbia's central coast. All small boats involved in the...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.