Foss Maritime Aids Power Plant Reactor Tow

Friday, September 24, 1999
Foss Maritime played a crucial role in the success of the towing of a defueled nuclear reactor up the Columbia River for burial of the reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Wash. Under a contract from Portland General Electric, Foss managed and performed barging of the 1,020 ton load from PGE's decommissioned Trojan power plant, near Rainier, Ore., to the Richland barge slip at the Port of Benton. The 270-mile tow was performed by Foss tugs Lewiston and Noydena. Foss towed ZB-240, a 240 x 56 ft. ramp barge, specifically built for the reactor towing assignment by Zidell Marine Corporation. The barge was chartered by PGE from Zidell. During the 36 hour tow, both 2,500 hp Lewiston and 1,700 hp Noydena were secured side by side at the stern of the RoRo barge so each tug's crew had a clear line of sight beyond the towering reactor and its support frame aboard the barge forward of the tugs. In addition to the backup tug, extensive safety precautions required by PGE under its contract with Foss included special nuclear cargo handling and transport training for Foss barge ballasting/deballasting and towing personnel. Special surveys of the barge and tugs were among other safety related requirements. During training sessions, as well as the actual move, the barge was ballasted onto and deballasted off of the bottom of the Trojan barge slip.
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