Safety & Resilience

​In 1980, Oregon passed rules to prohibit disposal of radioactive materials in the state.
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Oregon Administrative Rules require that a person cannot hold or place discarded or unwanted radioactive material for more than seven days within the state. Oregon Department of Energy staff will work with Oregon businesses or municipalities that need to dispose of radioactive materials properly.

Virtually all materials contain some radioactivity, so the rules also help identify materials that could be disposed of or are exempt from the rule, such as slightly radioactive materials that present minimal health hazards.

OAR 345-050  outlines the radioactive waste disposal rules in Oregon, with three tables that list the​ disposal exemptions, such as specific exempt elements, naturally occurring elements, and exempt quantities.

If you have questions about the administration of these rules, please contact our Nuclear Safety Division.


February 2020 Notice of Violation​

On February 13, 2020, ODOE issued a Notice of Violation for disposal of radioactive materials in violation of Oregon state law at the Chemical Waste Management hazardous waste landfill near Arlington. In consultation with other State of Oregon agencies, ODOE determined there is no current threat to landfill workers, the public, or the environment from this waste. 

ODOE directed the landfill operator to prepare a risk assessment to formally evaluate potential past, present, and future risk from the waste, and to develop a corrective action plan to outline the processes the company will put in place to prevent this from happening again. Going forward, this incident is also an opportunity to evaluate whether changes are necessary to strengthen Oregon’s radioactive waste disposal law and rules, and our agency’s enforcement options. Read more background here.

Timeline
  • February 13, 2020: ODOE issues Notice of Violation
  • March 4, 2020: ODOE participates in two Town Hall meetings with the Gilliam County Court. Watch the Town Halls in Condon and in Arlington
  • March 11, 2020: ODO​E presents to the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs regarding the Notice of Violation​​
Resources
Administrative Rules


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