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Another Portland Blog

Monday, May 22, 2006

 

Trojan falls down, reportedly "goes boom, boom"




I was up in Seattle on Saturday night. My colleague and I briefly considered staying up all night to see the big event. We had planned to stay in the Emerald City until the bars closed at 2:30 before heading south to catch the implosion. Common sense kicked in about five minutes later. Instead, we headed home and watched the whole thing on "tape delay" at the more reasonable hour of noon.

If you still haven't seen footage of the implosion, click here to watch some of the more "unique" footage from yesterday. If that doesn't do the trick, You Tube has at least a dozen other videos up for grabs.

Kudos to KATU for their excellent coverage. At 6 AM, an hour before the implosion, they had a helicopter in the sky and reporters posted up and down the banks of the Columbia. When the clock struck 7, their cameras, including an "implosion cam" posted a few hundred yards from the tower, caught the whole thing from multiple angles.

Meanwhile, KOIN cut from a informercial to a live feed right at 7. About halfway through a silent broadcast of the explosion, someone at the station spliced in unintentionally hilarious classical music. Shortly after the tower hit the ground, they cut back to the informercial with a few replays tucked into a PIP in the corner of the screen. No onsite audio, no commentators in the newsroom, just a few minutes of footage and that's it. Definitely not one of Portland media's finest moments.

I, for one, am going to miss the tower. Frankly, I would have preferred to see PGE remove the radioactive fuel rods still buried at Trojan instead of what has become, for better or worse, a landmark. Many thought it was an eyesore and a reminder of the bad old days of nuclear power. I enjoyed it as a kitschy icon that broke up the monotony of a drive from Portland to Astoria or Seattle.

The tower made Trojan Park an eerie photo spot. Who knows how many bands rolled out there to have their images captured in front of it for various album covers, music videos and liner notes. I stopped there several times over the years, It was always strange to find families having picnics, kayakers and ducks puttering around in a nearby lake and even fisherman on the banks, all in the shadow of a power plant once known for its poor safety record.

According to an article I recently read (sorry, no link), Trojan wasn't the inspiration for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Regardless, I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't a few "Blinkies" residing in that lake. Click here to see an actual photo of the water. No, seriously. Pirate aside, that's what it really looks like.

Here's to you, Trojan and goodnight sweet cooling tower. Until we all meet again, that is.

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