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

Measuring out marijuana for sale. Canadian Press photo

Other cities will follow Vancouver's lead on marijuana: councillor

Feds' mishandling of the medical marijuana issue created a vacuum that caused pot shops to pop up, says Kerry Jang.
Reza Aslan at Indian Summer Festival 2014. Photo by Tom Delamere

CNN's Reza Aslan slams Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher on roots of fundamentalist terrorism

Reza Aslan, star of upcoming CNN series on religious rituals, takes on Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher on Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
Justin Trudeau Vancouver environment climate change beach - Mychaylo Prystupa

Trudeau's climate change target won't be ready for Paris UN summit

Federal leader Justin Trudeau suggested Monday that his party would not determine Canada's emissions reduction target until well after a U.N. climate summit in Paris, where the world will meet to...
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.