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
Fossil Fuel Industry Puts our Communities and Climate at Risk
July 19, 2017 (Salem, OR) – Today, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruled that Portland’s Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments, passed unanimously in December of 2016, is inconsistent with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Portland’s fossil fuel policy intended to prevent new major fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the City. LUBA dismissed many of the other arguments brought by the oil industry and the Portland Business Alliance against the City’s policy. LUBA’s ruling is likely to be appealed to the State Court of Appeals.Read more
Oregon PSR Wins Major Victory in Oregon Legislature, Saves State’s Nuclear Power Moratorium Until There is a Permanent Solution for Waste
In May, Oregon PSR caught wind of Senate Bill 990, which had passed in the State Senate, and immediately began working with a coalition of environmental groups and supporters throughout the state to defeat a bill that would have gutted Oregon's voter-passed nuclear power moratorium and allowed the construction of small modular nuclear reactors. Intense lobbying and hundreds of constituent contacts later, we won! SB 990 died in House Committee.
Former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts co-authored an opinion piece to The Oregonian in response to the proposed legislation. Please read it to learn more about why we opposed this legislation, and contact us to learn more and to get more involved in preventing future nuclear power development in our region.Read more
Oregon lawmakers withdrew a bill on Friday that would allow railroads to keep plans for oil train disasters a secret.
A year after a train derailed, caught fire and spilled oil into the Columbia River in Mosier, lawmakers were poised to approve a measure that would require railroads to draft worst-case scenario plans. But the bill also would prevent public scrutiny by exempting the plans from Oregon public records law and legal subpoenas.
By a 31-26 vote, the House of Representatives agreed to send the bill back to the Legislature's ways and means committee for more work.Read more