Asbestos at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant

silhouette of two nuclear power plant cooling towers at dusk
Key Takeaways
  • Trojan Nuclear Power plant workers were likely exposed to asbestos in pipes, insulation, boilers, turbines, and other materials. 
  • Power plant workers are at high risk for developing mesothelioma, other cancers, and asbestosis due to the exposure to asbestos-containing products they encounter on the job. 
  • Former Trojan Nuclear Plant employees diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related illnesses have the right to pursue compensation.

Mesothelioma at the Trojan Nuclear Plant

The Trojan Nuclear Plant was built at a time when the power industry widely used asbestos in building materials and plant equipment. Consequently, plant workers are at high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses from asbestos exposure

Documents from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirm that asbestos materials were once used at the Trojan Nuclear Plant in areas like the main buildings and the cooling tower.

Exposure to asbestos on the job increases the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma. Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meaning it poses the risk of causing cancer. 

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are typically devastating, and medical care can be costly. If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure at a nuclear power station or any facility, you have the right to seek fair compensation and justice.

Why Trust Bergman Oslund Udo Little?

Bergman Oslund Udo fights for the rights of those affected by asbestos exposure, including power plant workers. Our attorneys have over 25 years of experience fighting for asbestos exposure victims throughout Oregon and Washington state. 

Our results speak for themselves. We have secured over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. You can also trust what our clients say about our law firm. 

If you or a loved one worked at the Trojan Nuclear Plant and has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you can seek compensation in several ways. Our Oregon asbestos exposure attorneys will protect your rights and fight for the maximum recovery you deserve.

Asbestos Use at the Trojan Nuclear Plant

Asbestos insulates materials from intense heat. Power plants generate a lot of energy and heat, so power companies have historically constructed their facilities with asbestos products to prevent fires and protect the plant’s equipment, such as turbines, boilers, and pipes. However, widespread asbestos use at nuclear plants placed many workers and their loved ones at significant risk of exposure. 

Other asbestos products regularly used in power stations included cement, asbestos paneling, firebricks, acoustical plaster, gaskets, pipe coverings, asbestos blankets, mastic, joint compounds, and other asbestos-insulating materials. 

Workers hired to build and maintain the Trojan Nuclear Plant through the 1980s were likely required to wear safety gear and protective clothing containing asbestos. These items include coats, pants, aprons, masks, shoe coverings, and mitts. 

Asbestos becomes hazardous when the products and components containing it degrade and break down, releasing microscopic fibers of the material into the air. Workers and others exposed can inhale or ingest the released fibers, which can become lodged in bodily tissue. 

Exposure to asbestos products remains a risk to nuclear power plant workers and those tasked with decommissioning these facilities. According to a 1999 news report, workers at the Trojan Nuclear Plant had to remove asbestos-containing materials during the lengthy cleanup process.

Trojan Nuclear Plant Occupations Most at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Nuclear power plants provide jobs for people throughout the Pacific Northwest. However, these power plant operators often placed workers at risk of exposure to dangerous levels of asbestos in machinery, insulation, and other equipment.

Insulation installers, electricians, pipefitters, welders, and maintenance workers had the highest risk of occupational asbestos exposure. Other power plant occupations likely exposed to these dangerous materials include the following:

These workers may have also exposed their loved ones to asbestos by bringing asbestos fibers home on their clothing, hair, and skin. Even managers and other professionals who didn’t work directly with these materials were at risk of asbestos exposure in power plants. 

Both direct and indirect exposure to asbestos can place workers and their loved ones in danger. The latency period between initial exposure to asbestos and the time to develop mesothelioma or another related disease can range from 20 to 60 years. 

Former workers at the Trojan Nuclear Plant and other power-generating facilities should closely monitor their health for any potential symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Potential symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent and dry cough, pain in the lower back or side of the chest, and problems swallowing.

History of the Trojan Nuclear Plant

The Trojan Nuclear Power Plant was a pressurized water reactor nuclear power generator located southeast of Ranier, Oregon. Construction began on the plant in 1970,  and the facility went online in 1976

The plant operated for 16 years under the direction of Portland General Electric. When it opened, it could produce 1,130 megawatts and contained the largest pressurized water reactor in the world. 

In 1984—nearly a decade before the plant’s closing—a Eugene Register-Guard newspaper article outlined serious safety issues that endangered plant workers. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigated the plant for substandard operational and safety procedures. The company, PGE, admitted that “human error” impacted safety at the plant. However, that probe concerned a hydrogen leak and not asbestos exposure. 

The Trojan Nuclear Plant was closed in 1992 after cracks were discovered in its tubing.  Decommissioning and demolition were completed in 2006. As part of the decommissioning process, the reactor vessel and other radioactive equipment were removed from the site and buried whole. The process also involved asbestos removal and disposal in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and federal and state pollution mandates.

Several buildings and warehouses remain on the site, which continues to be owned and maintained by PGE.

Our Asbestos Attorneys Are Ready To Help

If you worked at Trojan Nuclear Plant in the mid to late 1900s and developed an asbestos-related illness, your condition may have resulted from job-related asbestos exposure. You may be eligible to pursue a civil claim for compensation against the manufacturer or distributor of the asbestos-containing materials, a contractor, or some other party responsible for your exposure. 

Asbestos manufacturers have been targeted by civil lawsuits for years. Many of these companies knew about the dangers and health risks posed by their asbestos-containing products. Yet, they continued to hide the truth from workers and consumers.

In a lawsuit, asbestos-exposure victims may pursue compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. While compensation can’t undo the devastation of an asbestos-related disease, it can ease your family’s financial burden and hold those responsible accountable for your exposure. 

The wave of litigation has caused many of those responsible for asbestos exposure to file for bankruptcy protection. Courts order these bankrupt companies to create asbestos trust funds to compensate victims. Currently, these funds hold upwards of $30 billion to help victims and their families. The claims process for these trusts is streamlined compared to traditional litigation.

 The Washington and Oregon asbestos lawyers at Bergman Oslund Udo Little exclusively represent clients impacted by asbestos exposure. Since 1995, our firm has been fighting hard for the legal rights of clients who were wrongfully exposed to asbestos, and we’ll do the same for you. 

Contact our office today for a free lung cancer and mesothelioma case review.

Other Asbestos Exposure Sites in Oregon and Washington

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