Oregon's Radioactive Waste Transport Program is focused on preventing and preparing for potential accidents involving the transport of radioactive material in Oregon.
Each year, the Oregon Department of Energy publishes an annual report on shipments of radioactive wastes through our state.
In an average year, about 400 shipments of radioactive waste travel through parts of Oregon, en route to treatment or disposal facilities elsewhere in the nation. In addition, small amounts of radioactive materials move on the state's highways on a daily basis - these include radioactive isotopes used in medical diagnosis and treatment and radioactive sources used in road construction projects (which help measure the density of a new roadway, for example).
All of these shipments are regulated by state and federal transportation law.
Certain shipments of radioactive materials - depending on the radiation levels and if a carrier uses its vehicle to haul other materials - require information signs called placards. Oregon statutes require carriers of all radioactive placarded shipments to obtain a state permit to transport through Oregon. ODOE collects a small fee from each of these shipments. The money is used to provide training to emergency responders throughout the state.
More details about this program and the specific types of shipments that travel through the state are included in the annual transport report.