OMSI Science Pub to feature ODOE nuclear experts for talk on Hanford cleanup

Rachel Wray, 503-689-0294
Cliff Voliva, 503-378-3637


SALEM — The Hanford nuclear site, including challenges associated with the largest environmental cleanup project in the world, will be the topic of discussion at OMSI Science Pub tonight in Portland. Ken Niles and Dirk Dunning, nuclear experts from the Oregon Department of Energy, are the featured speakers.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in OMSI’s Empirical Theater, 1945 SE Water Ave.

Niles and Dunning – both of whom have worked on Hanford for more than 20 years each on behalf of the state of Oregon – will cover Hanford from its Manhattan Project origins through cleanup challenges that remain today.

Oregon has a tremendous stake in ensuring the safe and timely cleanup of Hanford. The Oregon border is only 35 miles from the site. The Columbia River flows through Hanford and continues past prime Oregon farmlands and fisheries. Radioactive and chemical contamination poses a potential long-term threat to the river and species such as salmon and steelhead.

The Oregon Department of Energy represents Oregonians by providing a critical, objective voice in technical reviews and policy discussions related to the cleanup, which is overseen and regulated by the federal government. The Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board also provides input to the U.S. Department of Energy and its regulators on the cleanup.

For the event, doors open at 5 p.m., with a $5 suggested cover charge. Food and drink are welcome in the theater. For more information, visit OMSI:

About the Oregon Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy reduces the long-term costs of energy for Oregonians. It provides tax credits, grants, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homeowners, businesses, manufacturers, farms, ranches, schools and governments.

About ODOE’s Nuclear Safety and Energy Emergency Preparedness Division: Division staff provide oversight of the environmental cleanup at the Hanford nuclear site – the largest such cleanup in the world. Division staff is also responsible for emergency preparedness for a nuclear reactor accident; ensuring the safe transport of radioactive materials through Oregon; petroleum contingency planning; and emergency preparedness for operation of a liquefied natural gas export terminal. Staff also provide technical and administrative support to the Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board.