Groups host forum on Hanford waste transport

U.S. Energy Department official to speak at March 12 event

A community discussion will be held at 6 p.m. March 12 about Hanford nuclear reservation and the impact of transporting nuclear waste through the Gorge.

The event is sponsored by Columbia Riverkeeper and Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

It will take place at Solstice Cafe in Bingen, Wash. Admission is $5 and includes pizza and salad.

For details contact Theresa Labriola at theresa@columbiariverkeeper.org or 541-490-2411.

Ken Niles, administrator of the Oregon Department of Energy’s nuclear safety and energy emergency preparedness division, will join the discussion.

Niles manages Oregon’s involvement in cleanup at the Hanford nuclear site, the safe transport of radioactive materials through Oregon and emergency preparedness in the event of a nuclear accident.

Currently, there is a moratorium on most, but not all, shipments of nuclear waste to the Hanford nuclear site. Even so, in 2011, 27 shipments of radioactive material were transported on Interstate 84, through the Columbia River Gorge.

These shipments included waste from hospitals, nuclear power plants, industries, universities and the Navy destined for disposal or treatment at Hanford.

Friends of the Gorge and Riverkeeper issued this statement in a press release about the event:

“Transport of nuclear waste upstream to Hanford isn’t the only threat that Hanford poses to our communities. Hanford is the most contaminated site in the western hemisphere, and contaminants such as chromium, strontium, uranium, and iodine-129 leach into the Columbia River.

“The import of additional nuclear waste to Hanford could increase the damage to human health and the Columbia River.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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