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Grounded: A Podcast by the Oregon Department of Energy

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Episode 16: A Community Energy Plan For Cully

We’re in Northeast Portland this week, talking to Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez, Verde’s Community Energy Advocate. Verde is part of the Living Cully collaborative, an effort to boost sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy in the Cully neighborhood. Living Cully released its Community Energy Plan earlier this year – Carolina tells us about in this week’s episode. Visit for helpful links. Learn more about our work at Music: “If” by Broke...


Episode 15: Clean Fuels Clean Cities

We are in Lebanon, Oregon this week, interviewing Brian Trice, Executive Director for the Columbia Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, a nonprofit focused on boosting alternative fuels in our state. Brian dives in to the Coalition’s work in Oregon, how the Advanced Transportation Technology Center at Linn-Benton Community College plays a role in alternative fuels, and his upcoming Green Transportation Summit & Expo. Not to mention: an epic race battle between Ford F-150 and a Nissan Leaf....


Episode 14: NuScale's New Scale For Nuclear

Grounded is back with a new season – and we are jumping right in with the fascinating, innovative work NuScale Power is doing in Corvallis, Oregon. NuScale was borne from research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Idaho National Environment & Engineering Laboratory, with support from Oregon State University. Today, the company is nearing certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its small modular nuclear reactor technology. Dr. Jose Reyes, NuScale co-founder...


Episode 13: Birth of an Oregon Energy Facility

When you flip on your light switch at home, do you ever think about where that electricity came from? Energy facilities like wind farms and power plants are spread out among our communities, producing energy to keep our state running. The birth of an energy facility – and its lifespan – is dependent on a governor-appointed body by called the Energy Facility Siting Council. Their complex work is supported by staff at the Oregon Department of Energy. On this latest episode, ODOE Siting...


Coyote Trails: Powered By The Sun

For 18 years, Coyote Trails has been helping Oregon families – and beyond – reconnect with nature. In 2015, Coyote Trails became powered by the sun, thanks to a large solar pavilion installation at the School of Nature in Medford, Oregon. On this episode of Grounded, Coyote Trails Nature Center Director Molly Kreuzman and True South Solar Owner/Sales Manager Shawn Schreiner tell us about Coyote Trails’ solar pavilion, and how it has helped the nonprofit achieve “net zero” electricity while...


Episode 11: Fueling Oregon in a Post-Cascadia World

The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs 700 miles along the Pacific Northwest coast – from northern California up to Vancouver Island. The Juan de Fuca plate is shoved up against the North American tectonic plate – eventually, the plates will give way, and North America will spring back with an earthquake anywhere from an 8.0 on the Richter Scale to higher than a 9… it’s known as a megathrust earthquake. On this week’s podcast, Oregon Department of Energy Emergency Preparedness Manager Deanna...


Episode 10: Hanford's Dream Of 2036

On this week’s podcast, we continue our multi-part series on the Hanford Nuclear Site near Richland, Washington. Oregon Department of Energy Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety, Ken Niles, is back to talk to us about Hanford’s biggest cleanup challenge: millions of gallons of radioactive and chemically hazardous waste stored in underground tanks at Hanford. Tune in to hear Ken talk tank waste, vitrification (mixing waste with glass-making materials), and the new dream of Hanford: to...


Episode 8: Hanford's Dream Of The 90s

On this week’s podcast, we continue our multi-part series on the Hanford Nuclear Site near Richland, Washington. Oregon Department of Energy Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety, Ken Niles, is back to talk to us about the early years of the Hanford cleanup. When Hanford shifted to cleanup in the early 1990s, the dream was to complete the project in just 30 years. Ken shares why that dream won’t become a reality – for decades to come. Learn more and see photos: Learn...


BONUS: Hanford Cleanup Shenanigans

Radioactive jam, anyone? Check out this bonus material from Episode 4: Hanford's Burping Tank. Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety Ken Niles talks about some shenanigans at Hanford and the larger Manhattan Project. Be sure to listen to our previous podcast episodes about Hanford production and the transition to cleanup. See photos: Learn more about us: Music: "If" by Broke For Free,


Episode 4: Hanford's Burping Tank

If you haven't already, please listen to our first Hanford episode, "The Atomic Man." This week, Ken Niles, the Oregon Department of Energy's Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety, continues his Hanford history lesson, moving from the production days of Hanford over to the transition to cleanup. Ken describes the overwhelming problem at Hanford, and the many challenges we face. This multi-part series will continue with a third episode focused on the progress we've made so far. Learn more...


Episode 3: Oregon Scores!

A Home Energy Score can help homeowners and homebuyers better understand how a home uses energy – and what steps they can take to improve energy efficiency. Oregon is on the leading edge of Home Energy Scores in the United States. A voluntary state-wide program and a mandatory Portland program are helping set the standard for a more energy-efficient housing market. Oregon Department of Energy Analyst Roger Kainu is joined by Andria Jacob and Kyle Diesner with the City of Portland Bureau of...


Episode 2: The Atomic Man

For more than 40 years, the federal government produced plutonium for America's nuclear weapons program at the Hanford Nuclear Site in southeast Washington. The now-decommissioned site is home to immense amounts of radioactive waste - and Oregon has a huge stake in ensuring the safe and timely cleanup. Hanford sits just 35 miles from Oregon's border along the Columbia River. In what will be a multi-part series, Ken Niles, the Oregon Department of Energy's Assistant Director for Nuclear...


Episode 0 - Grounded Preview

Coming soon: Grounded, a new podcast by the Oregon Department of Energy. Here on Grounded, we’ll be talking energy in the Beaver State – from renewable energy and the history of nuclear power… to utilities, businesses, nonprofits, schools, and Oregon families going green and making a difference. Learn more about us at Music: "If" by Broke for Free.