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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Our local nuclear plant is in the midst of a planned outage for maintenance and refueling.

And today, media were welcomed on a tour of the facility, giving us a closer look inside operations and how the plant remains secure amidst natural and man-made threats.

Columbia Generating Station is sharing some good news...and bad news. First, the good.

The Richland nuclear site operated by Energy Northwest has gone 683 straight days of continuous operation. That means nothing went wrong that the plant needed to stop.

"I'd say a hundred plants in the United States and you may have, I'll say two or three or four out of those that ever accomplish that in a cycle so it's a rarity, really," said Vice President of Operations, Grover Hettel.

It's also rare that the plant has not called an unplanned shutdown since 2009. There five in that year alone.

But, there are safety concerns surrounding the nuclear power plant. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the site did not meet all safety requirements from last June until this past March.

Upgrades may be on the horizon to shore up the risk of damage from an earthquake.

"We're still determining that. I'd hate to say no, we wouldn't have to or no if we do it would be minor, but we'll evaluate that. Right now, we're feeling mostly comfortable with what we're seeing."

The reactor has the same reactor as the one damaged in Japan at Fukushima.

The Columbia Generating Station also needs to be capable of withstanding the effects of volcanic ash and major flooding. The current outage is scheduled to last 42 days.

1,500 workers were added to the payroll to help refuel and meet the deadline.

"The number one thing I talk to these guys about is ensuring that they're using there 'take-two' which we call it. It's our human performance tools that we used to ensure that no errors occur," said Refuel Project Manager Kyle Sponholtz.

Ensuring a streak of ten million hours without a serious injury at the nuclear site.

Columbia Generating Station plans to submit an interim report to the NRC in January.

Inside Richland's nuclear energy facility

Our local nuclear plant is in the midst of a planned outage for maintenance and refueling. Media were welcomed on a tour of the facility, giving us a closer look inside operations and how the plant remains secure amidst natural and man-made threats.