Trojan Nuclear Power Plant was a pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant in Rainier, Oregon, United States, and the only commercial nuclear power plant to be built in Oregon. After sixteen years of service it was closed by its operator, Portland General Electric (PGE), almost twenty years before the end of its design lifetime. Decommissioning and demolition of the plant began in 1993 and was completed in 2006, except for the spent fuel pool containing highly radioactive waste such as the spent fuel rods still stored at the Trojan site.

Trojan Nuclear Power Plant represented more than 12% of the electrical generation capacity of Oregon. For comparison, more than 80% of Oregon's electricity came from hydropower from dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, with the rest mainly from fossil fuels.

Construction of Trojan Nuclear Power Plant

Construction of Trojan Nuclear Power Plant began February 1, 1970. First criticality was achieved on December 15, 1975 and grid connection on December 23, 1975. Commercial operation began on May 20, 1976 under a 35-year license to expire in 2011. The single 1130 megawatt unit at Trojan was then the largest pressurized water reactor built. It cost $450 million to build the plant.


In 1978, the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant was closed for nine months while modifications were made to improve its resistance to earthquakes. This followed the discovery both of major building construction errors and of the close proximity of a previously unknown faultline. The operators sued the builders, and an undisclosed out-of-court settlement was eventually reached.

The Trojan Nuclear Power Plant steam generators were designed to last the life of the plant, but it was only four years before premature cracking of the steam tubes was observed.

Decommissions process

In 1992, PGE spent $4.5 million to defeat ballot measures seeking to close Trojan Nuclear Power Plant. It was the most expensive ballot measure campaign in Oregon history until the tobacco industry spent $12 million in 2007 to defeat Measure 50. A week later the Trojan plant suffered another steam generator tube leak of radioactive water, and was shut down. It was announced that replacement of the steam generators would be necessary. In December 1992, documents were leaked from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission showing that staff scientists believed that Trojan might be unsafe to operate. In January 1993, chief plant engineer David Fancher, acting as spokesman for PGE, announced the company would not try to restart Trojan.

In 2005, the reactor vessel and other radioactive equipment were removed from the Trojan plant, encased in concrete foam, shrink-wrapped, and transported intact by barge along the Columbia River to Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, where it was buried in a 45-foot-deep (14 m) pit and covered with 6 inches (150 mm) of gravel, which made it the first commercial reactor to be moved and buried whole. The spent fuel is stored onsite in 34 dry casks, awaiting transport to the Yucca Mountain Repository.

The iconic 499-foot-tall (152 m) cooling tower, visible from Interstate 5 in Washington, was demolished via dynamite implosion at 7:00 a.m. on May 21, 2006. This event marked the first implosion of a cooling tower at a nuclear plant in the United States. Additional demolition work on the remaining structures was to continue through 2008. The central office building, and the reactor building were demolished by Northwest Demolition and Dismantling in 2008. Remaining are five buildings: two warehouses, a small building on the river side, a guard shack, and offices outside the secured facility. There is also extensive underground infrastructure still to be demolished. It is expected that demolition of the plant will cost as least as much as its construction.

Trojan Nuclear Power Plant
Locale Rainier, Oregon, U.S.
Coordinates 46°2′18″N 122°53′6″W / 46.03833°N 122.885°W / 46.03833; -122.885 / 46.03833; -122.885
Status Decommissioned
Construction began 1970
Commission date May 20, 1976
Decommission date 1992
Construction cost approximately $500,000,000
Operator(s) Portland General Electric
Architect(s) Bechtel

Power station information
Generation units General Electric

Power generation information
Installed capacity 1,130 MW

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