Search Results for 'nuclear'

Atomic Bombs and Culture

Nothing fueled the Cold War more than fear of the Hydrogen Bomb. Though President Kennedy halted above-ground, atmospheric testing of these weapons in 1963 like those that yielded these explosive images, thousands remain on high alert today. “One nuclear weapon exploded in one city — be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo […]

Runkle Canyon 11-08-08

During the debate over whether Runkle Canyon’s surface water is a drinking water source for Simi Valley, a number of folks have insisted that it isn’t, including members of the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Indeed, Runkle Canyon drains into the Arroyo Simi which replenishes the aquifer under Simi Valley which is pumped out and […]


City planners make a slick zone change for easy building on toxic lands
By Michael Collins
LA Weekly – March 5, 2009
West Hills resident Bonnie Klea is vivacious and no-nonsense. She won a battle over a rare bladder cancer diagnosed in 1995, and has long suspected the toxins that taint a big piece of land near her […]

SSFL Area IV – Sodium Reactor Experiment

The Sodium Reactor Experiment, or SRE, was the first nuclear reactor in this country to supply commercially-available electricity. It powered the lights for the-then tiny town of Moorpark in Ventura County, California, population 1,200. The reactor is best known for suffering the worst meltdown in American history, releasing hundreds of times more radiation in the […]

SSFL Area IV – SNAP wrote about the SNAP reactor’s two partial meltdowns in a September 23, 2004 Ventura County Reporter article entitled “In Hot Water – More good news about contamination from your friends at Rocketdyne,” where it was noted:
“At the meeting last week, Rocketdyne divulged that two new wells had high levels of tritium registering approximately 82,000 […]

SSFL Area IV – Gallery E – Buildings 4029, 4030, 4055, 4064, 4093 & 4100

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“The Radiation Measurements Facility (Building 4029) was used between 1959 and 1974 for the storage and use of radioactive sources to calibrate radiation detection instruments for the SRE and other reactor tests,” according to the DOE. “In March, 1964, a radium source was dropped in a storage thimble; the plastic […]

SSFL Area IV – Gallery C – Building 4022 Radioactive Materials Handling Facility

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“The RMHF was constructed in 1959 and consists of a group of ten buildings which were built to safely handle new and irradiated nuclear fuel,” says the Department of Energy. “RMHF was later used to support the remediation activities and for temporary storage of radioactive and mixed waste. Building 4022 […]

SSFL Area IV – Gallery B – SSFL Area IV Building 4020 Hot Lab

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“During reactor test operations, it was often necessary to examine reactor fuel assemblies and other test specimens to determine how they were performing,” according to the Department of Energy. “This involved handling and examining highly radioactive items. These operations were done remotely in the heavily shielded Hot Laboratory (Building 4020) […]

SSFL Area IV – Gallery A – Buildings 4003, 4005, 4009, 4011 & 4023

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“From 1957 through 1964, Building 4003 was used to assemble fuel for the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE),” according to the Department of Energy. “In Building 4003, uranium and thorium metal slugs were loaded into metal tubes, the remaining tube space was filled with sodium, and the tubes were then sealed.
“Later […]

SSFL Area II – Gallery C

In Area II of SSFL is the Delta site, first constructed in 1957 for Thor engine testing and later modified for the Lance J-2 programs, including altitude testing. The area has also been used for the loading of propellant for Peacekeeper Stage IV. The DELTA 1 and 2 test stands conducted 105 and 462 rocket […]

SSFL Area IV Reactor Lifecycle

In 2004, Venice-based McDaniel Lambert, Inc. produced a United States Department of Energy (DOE) public presentation about the cleanup of the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) where extensive radioactive contamination remains from decades of nuclear work. The PowerPoint presentation was called “DOE Radiological Activities in Area IV” and described in simplistic terms the lifecycle of […]

Los Angeles Press Club 45th Annual Gala

Michael Collins won First Place for 2002’s best Investigative/Series for papers under 100,000 circulation for his “Rocketdyne Ranch” expose in the Ventura County Reporter.
Judges’ comments: A thorough and well-written report, which even included the reporter using his own nuclear radiation monitor to find radiation that had been overlooked in previous inspections.
The Winning Series:

49th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards Gala Dinner

The 49th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards Gala Dinner was held June 16, 2007 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. took home the following awards: 
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – (Print under 100K circulation)
Michael Collins, Los Angeles CityBeat
Judges’ comment: “First class journalism by a dedicated and dogged journalist. Collins’ stories were winners on […]

Los Angeles Press Club 50th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards Gala Dinner

The 50th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards Gala Dinner was held June 21, 2008 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. took home some several awards.
Michael Collins, Ventura County Reporter, “Dirty Business”
Judges’ comment: “Collins provides an unflinching look at the serious soil-pollution problems at […]

Ten Years After – Two Years On – Letters

Congratulations Michael and Denise on two very impressive years at Enviroreporter. My involvement with you and Denise, as both a “Radiation Ranger” and a friend, has been very rewarding for me. A special thanks to you both for keeping this old brain working on all the scientific reporting you share with me. I am […]

Ten Years After – Two Years On

Denise Anne Duffield and I launched in May 2006. In conjunction with Los Angeles CityBeat, we broke a five-year investigation called “Real Hot Property” about a forgotten nuclear dump on Veterans Administration land in Brentwood California.
A story that hot deserved an even hotter website so we loaded up with award-winning investigative journalism, in-depth […]

Ventura County Board of Supervisors Resolution

On January 25, 2007, Michael Collins received a resolution from the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in honor of his journalist achievements and career as an investigative reporter. The resolution was presented at the Los Angeles Press Club at a celebration of Michael’s 50th birthday and 24 years as an investigative journalist.

The Board of […]

1996 Department of Energy list of UCLA human radiation experiments

Thirteen radionuclides involved: iodine-131, zinc-65, strontium-85, calcium-47, gold-198, iodine-125, cobalt-60, technetium 99m, copper-67, manganese-54, xenon 133, indium-113m and fluorine-18
UCLA-1. Early Experimental Imaging of the Thyroid Gland Using Iodine 131
IN 1951, the University of California, Los Angeles conducted a series of tests on humans to study the uptake of radioiodine into the thyroid gland. […]


Runkle Canyon radiation report spells trouble
by Michael Collins
Ventura County Reporter – February 19, 2009
Nearly 50 people filled Simi Valley City Hall chambers late last month in a much-anticipated Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) meeting about environmental conditions in Runkle Canyon. The 1,595-acre property is where KB Home hopes to build 461 homes. The […]

San Fernando Valley's Galaxy of Goo

San Fernando Valley’s Galaxy of Goo

LA Department of City Planning rezones former aerospace and nuclear research site in west San Fernando Valley site to chagrin of residents. A February 26 vote codifies lower environmental standards for chemicals, radionuclides and heavy metals found at 81-acre property. Plan determines that no Environmental Impact Report is needed.

Waxman Document 80

This document is also available on Congressman Waxman’s website here.

P. 11/76:
“If significant amounts of medical debris were encountered, all activity in that areas would be suspended and a Health and Safety Plan (HSP) would be prepared. The HSP would delineate waste handling procedures, disposition and personel protection. Because medical debris was encountered during grading […]

Waxman Document 79

This document is also available on Congressman Waxman’s website here.

This January 3, 2000 document is the “Final Report — Phase I Environmental Site Assessment — Brentwood School Lease Area” by URS Greiner Woodward Clyde for Coastal Safety & Health Services under contract by the VA. Following are excerpts of this “ESA” with comments.
P. 4/103:
This ESA’s […]

Waxman Document 77

This document is also available on Congressman Waxman’s website here.

This 530-page file includes numerous reports from the 1960s on and provides a great deal of information that previously had only been available in hard copy. Following are snippets and comments about parts of this multi-document PDF that are of particular interest including information that the […]

Waxman Document 29

This document is also available on Congressman Waxman’s website here.

This document lists several buildings that were part of the animal and human radiation research during the Cold War years. Building 114, listed below, was and is still used for research.

Building 340, listed in this document as containing “Radiation Waste,” has a fading sign that reads […]

Waxman Veterans Administration nuke dump documents

On August 8, 2007, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) provided, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press the link to a page on Waxman’s website that contains 86 documents with over 5,600 pages of material on the West Los Angeles VA. These VA-related documents, given to Waxman by the now former Secretary of […]