Governor Dan Evans announces plans to make Washington the nation's leader in nuclear energy development on July 23, 1969.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 7/24/2001
  • Essay 1256
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On July 23, 1969, Governor Dan Evans (b. 1925) announces plans to make Washington the nation's leader in nuclear energy development. The governor's Office of Nuclear Energy Development describes a master plan to make Washington "the nuclear progress state."

Evans stated, "There is an urgency for such planning. The lead time required between the first selection of a site and completion of the plant requires that we get right on the job if we are going to avoid a serious power shortage by 1974 or 1975."

Parts of the plan included a nuclear ship construction industry and public education. He appointed Dave Peyton of his staff as the acting chairman of the new Thermal Power Plant Evaluation Council, consisting of 20 agencies.

Evans also proposed three sites for nuclear reactors: Roosevelt Beach in Grays Harbor County, Kalama in Cowlitz County, and Kliket Island, a joint project of Seattle City Light and Snohomish County Public Utilities District.

"We hear many fears expressed today about radiation and other perils of nuclear power," Gov. Evans said. "But we must face the fact that if we are going to continue the advancement of our economic and civilization in general here, we're going to require the growth of nuclear power."


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 272; Don Page, "Evans Accelerates Nuclear Program," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 24, 1969, p. 1, B; "Sites Nominated For Atom Plants," Ibid., p. B.

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