Diary: The ideal park: woods, wildlife and a nuclear reactor

On the surface, a site that Portland General Electric (PGE) has proposed turning into an Oregon state park sounds like an ideal locale: it boasts 500 acres worth of woods, wetlands and creeks, as well as 200 species of wildlife.

On the surface, a site that Portland General Electric (PGE) has proposed turning into an Oregon state park sounds like an ideal locale: it boasts 500 acres worth of woods, wetlands and creeks, as well as 200 species of wildlife.

On the surface, a site that Portland General Electric (PGE) has

proposed turning into an Oregon state park sounds like an ideal locale:

it boasts 500 acres worth of woods, wetlands and creeks, as well as 200

species of wildlife.



However, there’s also a 500-foot cooling tower and a fortified tank of

spent radioactive fuel, ever-present reminders of the site’s former

tenant, the Trojan nuclear power plant. Yet PGE was still shocked when

its proposed PR ploy - which the utility said is designed to ’promote

responsible environmental stewardship’ - was openly ridiculed by local

residents.



’We’d never need electricity at night because the place glows,’ said

state parks department spokesman Jim Lockwood. Added environmentalist

Lloyd Marbet, ’I wonder how many people would like to camp next to a

repository for spent fuel.’



Trojan, which ceased operations six years ago, was reportedly the

inspiration for the Springfield nuclear power plant from TV’s The

Simpsons, given its proximity to the hometown of Simpsons creator Matt

Groening. The show has skewered nuclear power, even going so far as to

introduce ’Blinky,’ a three-eyed fish mutated by plant runoff.



In defense of its proposed donation, PGE exec Fred Miller called the

site ’unthreatening’ and noted the steps taken to ensure environmental

safety, which included hauling the nuclear reactor to a burial site in

the eastern Washington desert.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in