Trojan Nuclear Plant Implosion – May 21, 2006

May 23, 2006

The cooling tower of the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Rainier, Oregon was imploded by engineers from Controlled Demolition, Inc on Sunday morning. I spent Saturday night with a group of activists who worked close to 20 years to shut down the plant until they were successful in 1993. We rented 15 rooms at a roadside motel in Kalama, Washington and rose very early to find good spots to view the event. I will be producing a documentary about the weekend. In the meantime, click here for a quick video of the implosion I shot from a vantage point in a neighborhood on a bluff in Kelso, Washington, across the mighty Columbia River from the cooling tower.

[Postscript: Here is my longer treatment of this subject, the 10-minute “Trojan Down” on Google Video.]


5 Responses to “Trojan Nuclear Plant Implosion – May 21, 2006”

  1. bill Says:

    Just to clarify, Trojan indeed shut down, but on it’s own design failures, not the work of the democratic process. It wasn’t until after the plant closed due to steam pipe leaks that the ballot measure, to restrict siting an Oregon nuclear plant until a licensed waste facility was built, passed.

  2. masterpeace Says:

    Technically, PGE decided to shut down the plant because of the design failures. But PGE spent years lying to the public about the deadly problems with the plant. If not for the brave and sustained actions of the many people who fought to close the plant, PGE would have gotten away with their lies and kept the plant open, possibly resulting in an environmental catastrophe. The work of the activists definitely played a large role in the decision to shut down Trojan.

  3. Glenn Says:

    That’s just the cooling tower being imploded, not the Trojan “nuclear plant” itself. The reactor is (was) in the smaller containment building to the right. It’s amusing how often you see a shot of a large cooling tower, which could be attached to any type of large power plant (e.g., coal-fired), being represented as a nuclear plant. The public at large thinks those big cooling towers are the plant itself.

    By the way, there are just over 100 reactors successfully and safely operating in the U.S. today, with no greenhouse gas emissions. Advanced reactor designs with passive safety feature technology have been (Westinghouse) or are being (others) certified by the NRC. Several utilities are in the early stages of ordering new plants to be built within the next decade. The reality is that safe, non-polluting nuclear power is an essential ingredient in meeting the world’s growing energy needs.

  4. masterpeace Says:

    I corrected the language in my post that leads to so many people saying “the cooling tower is not the nuclear plant, it’s just the cooling tower”. Of course it is not the reactor, but it’s impressive as hell to see something that big come down in 6 seconds, ain’t it?

    Westinghouse is also the company that installed defective steam turbines in the Trojan plant and gave them a 30-day warranty. The repeated failure of these turbines was a central factor in PGE’s decision to shut down the plant.

    Today the Hanford nuclear waste facility (where the reactor core from Trojan was sent for storage) was recently exposed on 60 Minutes to be of sub-standard construction. The reality is that nuclear waste is deadly to all life for thousands of years and we haven’t been able to figure out what to do with it! How anyone can call this “safe” and “non-polluting” is beyond me.

    What’s more, the Bush regime is currently studying a new generation of nuclear weapons, with active plans to use them in an offensive strike for the first time in the modern nuclear age. This should be chilling to every citizen of Earth.

  5. Chantel Says:

    I have to say that it is a good thing that they shut the nuclear plant down because all it was doing was causing more pollution and obviously that isnt going to help our envirorment in the future.
    And about Bush, thank God that he is gone becuase with our new president, we dont have to worry about going and trying to make neuclear weapons, but then again, things could change.

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