John Oliver, formerly of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," tackled the expansive issue of nuclear waste and its dangers on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight." The episode aired on August 20th, 2017 (content warning: explicit language). The comedian made some very good points (and jokes) about the health impacts of this frequently hushed-up issue. We take a look at what Mr. Oliver and his team did well, and what wasn't quite right.Read more
On August 10th, 2017 Susannah Frame of King 5 News in Washington State published an in-depth look at nuclear waste transport violations at the Columbia Generating Station near Richland, WA. The report was based on a tip provided by our Nuclear Power Program. Because of multiple errors in its shipping of radioactive waste, The Washington State Department of Health has suspended indefinitely the shipment of radioactive waste from the nuclear plant.Read more
A westbound 120-car coal train derailed at approximately 11:00 pm on Sunday, August 13th about 10 miles west of Noxon, Montana. Thirty of the 120 uncovered rail cars, each fully loaded, dumped dirty and dangerous coal next to and into the Cabinet Gorge Reservoir of the Clark Fork River. There were no injuries. Crews are working to clean up the mess and hope to finish on Wednesday. The track is closed.Read more
On Wednesday, August 9th, 2017, Oregonians gathered in downtown Portland on a hot summer evening to commemorate the tragedy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II in 1945. This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the horrifying loss of tens of thousands of lives as the United States' military deployed its nuclear arsenal. This memorial event came one month after 122 countries voted in the United Nations to approve a historic ban treaty on nuclear weapons. It also occurred in the midst of the US' current embroilment in nuclear threats with North Korea.Read more
The Columbia Generating Station at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, WA.
On July 26, 2017, quietly and with no reporting to the media, the State of Washington’s Department of Health found that Energy Northwest vastly under-reported the radioactivity of a July 20, 2017 low-level radioactive waste shipment. As it had after a previous similar incident in November, the Department of Health indefinitely revoked the nuclear utility’s right to ship radioactive materials to the state’s licensed disposal site.Read more
Health & Environmental Justice Groups Applaud Metro Council Decision to Abandon Waste Incineration Proposal
Oregon PSR and 350 Salem after the Metro Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Committee heard testimony in opposition to sending 200,000 tons of the Portland area's trash to the Covanta Marion Waste-to-Energy incinerator in Brooks, OR.
On August 8th, health, environmental justice, and community groups celebrated as the Metro Council voted to proceed no further with a proposal to send 200,000 tons of waste per year to the Covanta Marion incinerator in Brooks, OR. The amount equals one-fifth of the tri-county area’s solid waste, and waste-to-energy plants produce even more pollution and global warming emissions than coal plants per unit of electricity produced. Fifteen organizations including Oregon PSR, the NAACP Portland Branch, and Neighbors for Clean Air sent a letter to the Metro Council last week urging them to abandon the proposal.Read more
The face of the Hanford B Reactor, 36 feet tall with over 2,000 horizontal aluminum loading tubes.
July 27th, 2017
By Damon Motz-Storey, Oregon PSR Program Assistant
On July 7th, 2017, one hundred and twenty-two countries in the United Nations voted to enact a treaty ban on nuclear weapons. Not a single one of those 122 countries was a nuclear-armed nation. On July 11th, 2017, I traveled with seven others from Oregon PSR to visit the first fully functional nuclear reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reserve near Richland, Washington. It took us many hours of driving along the Columbia River and watching the landscape around us change dramatically from verdant, rain-soaked Portland to the yellow, arid plains of eastern Washington. In one way, it felt like a return to familiar lands, since I grew up driving from dry Colorado across the Midwestern plains to see my family in Southern Illinois.Read more
The 2017 Oregon legislative session finished up this month with a few victories and a lot of disappointment in terms of protecting the health of Oregonians. Oregon PSR weighed in on a number of bills from climate and environmental health protection to stopping nuclear power, curbing gun violence, and ensuring all kids have access to health care. Thanks to so many of you who responded to our numerous requests to call your legislators, attended lobby days, and submitted testimony.
Here’s how it all shook out in the end:Read more
Oregon PSR, NAACP Portland and Neighbors for Clean Air along with twelve other organizations sent a letter today to Metro Council asking them to oppose sending waste to the Covanta incinerator in Brooks, Oregon.Read more
The Columbia River site where Millennium Bulk Terminals wishes to build the largest coal export facility in North America.Read more