Closing the Northwest’s lone nuclear power plant could save taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next 17 years, according to a new report commissioned by the Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The two physicians groups, which have a joint task force on nuclear power, commissioned McCullough Research to do the independent study.

McCullough’s report, to be released Wednesday, takes aim at the Columbia Generating Station at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. It’s the only completed nuclear plant of the five begun by the ill-fated Washington Public Power Supply System, and the only commercially operated plant in Washington and Oregon.

“We believe this report demonstrates clearly that aging nuclear reactors, in addition to having safety problems, are having trouble competing in the electric power market,” said Dr. Catherine Thomasson, national executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The report notes that the plant purchased $700 million worth of nuclear fuel from a Paducah, Kentucky enrichment facility, which it terms one of the least environmentally friendly enrichment facilities in the nation.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Follow Sustainable Life on Facebook at .

Follow me on Twitter: