(Click thumbnail to view entire photograph) Christmas Day 2004 outside of Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Area IV in at its height during the Cold War go-go years of nuclear research. Over 30,000 rocket tests occurred at Areas I through IV at the 2,50-acre lab. Man regards stacks of boxed radioactive waste awaiting shipment to a licensed toxic waste dump. Atomics International worker uses Geiger Counter atop of the partially-melted core of the Sodium Reactor Experiment in 1959. The Department of Energy leased 90 acres of the 270-acre Area IV for its nuclear work. Worker uses boroscope to peer into partially melted SRE core. The remains of a dismantled experimental space reactor. Radioactive Material Handling Facility is one of the last buildings that will be remediated and torn down in Area IV in a lab cleanup costing hundreds of millions and scheduled for completion in 2017. Rocketdyne's Hot Lab had thick lead and concrete walls, leaded glass, and remote control armatures to protect workers dismantling nuclear fuel rods shipped from around country. Controlling the SRE reactor. Another part of the SRE reactor control room. The reactor's partial meltdown July 1959 released hundreds of times more radioactivity than Three Mile Island's meltdown did twenty years later in 1979. Sodium Reactor Experiment display which touted the first commercial reactor in the U.S. The SRE reactor building, below and right, did not have a radiation containment structure like those of modern reactors. Atomics International workers strain to open top of partially-melted SRE reactor core. Note lack of radiation outfits and ventilator masks.