Last we heard from the Portland Anti-Nuke Occupy arm, they were wrapping up a trip out to Richland, Washington to Occupy the Hanford Nuclear Waste Facility. The relatively peaceful event encouraged out of town ralliers while ticking off more than a few locals. But, despite grumblings, it looks like the group is far from calling it quits.
I got a call from Occupy Hanford leader Miriam German explaining the group's next step. First off, it's no longer labeled "Occupy"—despite its participants solely Occupiers. The new name: No Nukes Northwest. And the current mission? Protest the relicensing of the Columbia Generating Station, a 40-year-old nuclear processing station owned by Energy Northwest that lies on the Hanford grounds. The license extends the station's permit for 20 more years.
"This building only contributes to four percent of the state's energy and it was created to stand for only forty years," says German. "It's unstable, making the danger level here astronomical. I mean, it's holding nuclear energy. That shit's hot."
Tomorrow, those involved with the station will be celebrating it's relicensing, while No Nukes Northwest protests on the nearby road. "We're not sure how close we can get," says Miriam. "But close enough to be noticed."