Portland General Electric’s work to decommission the Trojan plant took a spectacular step forward on 21 May with the implosion of the plant’s cooling tower. Some 2972lb (1266kg) of dynamite was stategically placed in the legs and lower half of the cooling tower. At 7am the explosives fractured the concrete, allowing the 41,000t concrete and steel structure to fail vertically and collapse upon itself.

A detonation begins the destruction of the Trojan PWR’s cooling tower. This view would have been somewhat familiar to plant workers

Trojan, a1130MWe PWR near Rainier, Oregon, began operations in May 1976. PGE closed the Trojan plant in January 1993 after concluding that closing the plant and acquiring alternative resources was a more cost-effective option than continued operation. PGE received approval of its decommissioning plan in April 1996 and in August 1999, PGE removed the nuclear reactor vessel and transported it to the Hanford waste facility. In 2003, the spent nuclear fuel was moved to dry cask storage, where it is safely stored on-site in 34 concrete casks, awaiting eventual shipment to a federal nuclear repository site. The plant was certified as radiologically decommissioned in May 2005.