The Oregon Department of Energy is responsible for responding to potential emergencies at the Hanford Nuclear Site or the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant in Washington state.
About 29,000 Oregonians live in the communities of Boardman, Irrigon, Hermiston, and Umatilla, which are located within the 50-mile nuclear emergency planning zone for both the Hanford site and the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) nuclear power plant.
A fire, explosion, or other accident involving Hanford's contaminated facilities or underground waste storage tanks could cause an airborne release of radioactive materials. Similarly, an accident at CGS could also cause an airborne release of radioactive materials.
Our primary concern in the event of an emergency would be to protect Oregonians from consuming contaminated food products and restricting movement of these products into the marketplace.
Radiological Emergency Planning & Practice
ODOE works with our partners in Washington, several other Oregon state agencies, and Morrow and Umatilla counties to regularly test our emergency preparedness program. These include full-scale practice exercises, regular coordination drills, media coordination drills, and more.
Biennial reviews by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have consistently found that Oregon's emergency preparedness program can:
- Effectively alert and mobilize emergency responders.
- Provide timely and accurate information to the public and news media.
- Issue and implement appropriate protective action recommendations to protect public health and safety.
- Sample, process, and analyze potentially contaminated soil, vegetation, air, and water.