Columbia Generating Station Nuclear Power Plant

An emergency preparedness program has been designed to identify and address the possible risks that could have consequences affecting the Columbia Generating Station Nuclear Power Plant and the surrounding communities. This program enables federal, state, and local agencies to implement protective actions designed to protect the people, property, environment, and economy of Washington State. The Emergency Management Division administers this contract and, in addition to being the lead agency for the planning, exercising, and training for the emergency preparedness portion of the contract, is a pass through for monies that go to the emergency management agencies in Adams, Benton, Franklin, Grant, Walla Walla, and Yakima Counties.


Energy Northwest is the owner and operator of the only commercial nuclear power plant in Washington State. This plant, called Columbia Generating Station, is situated on land leased from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) on the Hanford Site about 12 miles northwest of Richland, Washington.

Hanford Site Map

It is an 1175-megawatt nuclear power plant that began commercial power generation in 1984. Columbia Generating Station is licensed by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The NRC sets standards, inspects, and evaluates plant operations on a regular basis to ensure safety and compliance with NRC regulations. NRC evaluations include on-site emergency preparedness activities at the plant to protect the health and safety of plant employees and the general public.

Emergency Preparedness

Energy Northwest provides on-site preparedness for an emergency. Protection of the public from the off-site impacts of an emergency at the power plant involves coordination by Energy Northwest, a variety of state agencies, and local jurisdiction emergency management offices to prepare for this possibility. Together with numerous federal agencies, they have developed and exercised emergency plans to safeguard public health and safety in the event of an accident at Columbia Generating Station. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) monitors and evaluates all of these off-site emergency preparedness activities to ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations, and guidelines.

Columbia Generating Station

Thumbnail graphic of 10-mile EPZ Map, click to view full size
10-Mile EPZ Map
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CGS 50-Mile EPZ
50-Mile EPZ Map

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CGS Evacuation Map
Evacuation Routes &
Assistance Centers Map

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Energy Northwest provides funding for Columbia Generating Station off-site emergency preparedness program development and activities. This funding, administered by EFSEC, currently provides support for affected local jurisdictions and state agencies. The Fixed Nuclear Facility (FNF) off-site preparedness program partners include: Benton, Franklin, Grant, Adams, Walla Walla, and Yakima county emergency management agencies; Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division; Washington State Department of Health, Division of Radiation Protection; and the Washington State Department Agriculture.

State Response

Washington State agencies, affected local jurisdictions, Energy Northwest, and federal agencies continue to plan, coordinate, and exercise their ability to respond to an emergency at Columbia Generating Station. Together, they are capable of responding effectively to an emergency at the plant to protect the health and safety of the citizens of the state of Washington.


For more information, please contact Steven Williams, Tri-Cities Special Hazards Program Manager, at 509.545.2030, Fax: 509.545.2032, or Cell: 509.531.3911.

© Copyright 2014 Washington Military Department - Emergency Management Division