Rocketdyne

Sodium Reactor Experiment before 1959 meltdown ROCKETDYNE LATEST NEWS (Dozens of Posts)
Comprehensive coverage of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, home of the nation’s worst meltdown and astronomical contamination.





ROCKETDYNE PHOTO GALLERY
Photographs and maps of Rocketdyne then and now.




SELECTED ARTICLES & SERIES:

China Syndrome Town thumbCHINA SYNDROME TOWN
EnviroReporter.com – March 6, 2014
Four-part exposé is a true tale of greed, corruption, and malfeasance where a major polluter, casino owners and their astroturf allies further their greenwashing with help from corrupted government agencies. Community advocates renew their fight to force cleanup of SSFL while polluter collaborators claim nothing to cleanup at Rocketdyne yet simultaneously saying extensive cleanup would ruin environment. Boeing is temporarily stopped from recycling radiation-related metal and concrete.

Greetings from Santa Susana postcard created by ACMELA-WPBVCREPORTER‘S “GREENWASHING” ROCKETDYNE
Ventura County Reporter – January 17, 2013
One of the targets of a campaign to greenwash Boeing’s radiologically and chemical contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory as already clean enough for a public park is the Ventura County Reporter. The largest weekly in the county SSFL sits exposes the phony campaign cooked up by former Los Angeles Times journalist Gary Polakovic and his Make Over Earth firm.

Boeings Meltdown Makeover BOEING’S MELTDOWN MAKEOVER
EnviroReporter.com – December 10, 2012
Five-part investigation begun in 2008 uncovers Boeing “media campaign” to portray lab as safe enough for public access through “greenwashing” and “astroturfing” even as new evidence shows huge amounts of radiation and chemicals remain. Government subverts own $41.5 million radiation study.

ROCKETDYNE STILL HOT
Ventura County Reporter – March 22, 2012
Rocketdyne is far more polluted than previously thought, even in places twice “cleaned” by Boeing and Department of Energy. U.S. EPA deliberately bait and switches background versus actual cleanup numbers. Radionuclides like cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239/240could be left in place at high levels in violation of cleanup agreements between state and feds.

ROCKETDYNE CLEANUP WON’T HELP RUNKLE CANYON
LA Weekly – September 23, 2010
Historic Rocketdyne cleanup agreement marred by revelations that the Department of Toxic Substances Control, in a quiet sleight of land, negotiated a cleanup deal with adjacent Runkle Canyon developer KB Home to leave tainted land untouched by remediation.


ATOMIC AVENGER
Ventura County Reporter – July 8, 2010
Bonnie Klea is the Atomic Avenger, an American who has taken her considerable skills and perseverance to fight for the rights of the nation’s nuclear workers many of which have suffered terribly for the work they performed at the height of the Cold War.




ROCKETDYNE’S ROCKY ROAD
Ventura County Reporter – December 31, 2009
The Ventura County Reporter takes a look back at 2009 and some of the more notable events and controversies swirling around Boeing’s former Rocketdyne lab. Department of Toxic Substances Control replaces Norman E. Riley who was head of Rocketdyne and Runkle Canyon cleanups to the delight of longtime activists.

Alpha test stand-thumbBOEING BLOCKS LAB CLEANUP
Ventura County Reporter – November 19, 2009
Boeing sues state of California’s EPA over the law mandating strict cleanup of its polluted Santa Susana Field Lab. Company could save hundreds of millions in cleanup costs if successful in court.

50 YEARS AFTER AMERICA’S WORST NUCLEAR MELTOWN
Miller-McCune — August 24, 2009
Human error helped worsen a nuclear meltdown just outside Los Angeles, and now human inertia has stymied the radioactive cleanup for half a century. Joan Trossman Bien and Michael Collins tell the tale in this feature story with interviews, photos, maps and videos of one of Southern California’s hottest spots: Rocketdyne.

Wrinkles in Runkle CanyonWRINKLES IN RUNKLE CANYON
LA Weekly – July 22, 2009
50 Years After a Santa Susana Nuclear Accident Holds Up Land Development



The Promised LandTHE PROMISED LAND
Ventura County Reporter – January 24, 2008
Gov. Schwarzenegger terminates the uncertainty of Rocketdyne cleanup with historic move that keeps California in charge – for now.


CLEANING UP ROCKETDYNE
Ventura County Reporter – Novermber 21, 2007
Citizen-inspired remediation starts at lab-adjacent Sage Ranch. Environmentalists Christina Walsh, William Preston Bowling and John Luker cause historic multi-million dollar cleanup.

PAY DIRT
EnviroReporter.com – October 13, 2007
Gov. Schwarzenegger signs Kuehl bill to clean up Rocketdyne to Superfund standards. Boeing agrees to pay for remediation and donate lab to State for parkland. Activists rejoice and lead Rocketdyne watchdog signals caution. Focus shifts to Runkle Canyon.

Very Dirty LaundryVERY DIRTY LAUNDRY
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – October 12, 2006
A new report on L.A.’s nuked Rocketdyne site finally catches the attention of mainstream media. Study suggests that between 260 and 1,800 people contracted cancer from the partial meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment in 1959, which released 459 times more cesium-137 and iodine-131 than did the melt at Three Mile Island in 1979.


THE FALL OUT
Los Angeles ValleyBeat – February 16, 2006
Two new reports find elevated cancers and other risks within a few miles of Rocketdyne. “We found associations between levels of ionizing radiation as well as indicators of exposure to chemicals at rocket engine test stands and certain types of cancer,” said one of the study’s authors.

SOUR SATISFACTION
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – October 6, 2005
Boeing settles massive lawsuit over the Valley’s heavily polluted Rocketdyne site. Environmentalists howl and take issue with Collins.




PIPE DREAMS
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – February 24, 2005
Plans to store contaminated water under Ahmanson Ranch raise environmental concerns.

Toxic OddsTOXIC ODDS
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – November 4, 2004
How many cancer deaths are too many? The City of Los Angeles finally sues feds over inadequate cleanup of Rocketdyne.

Radiating OutwardRADIATING OUTWARD
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – September 27, 2004
An experimental space reactor suffered a major accident in 1964 in which 80% of its nuclear fuel rods cracked and released radiation from an unconfined building. An adjacent SNAP 8 reactor suffered a similar fate in 1969 with about a third of its fuel also cracking.


In Hot WaterIN HOT WATER
Ventura County Reporter- September 23, 2004
Rocketdyne divulged that two new wells had high levels of tritium registering approximately 82,000 and 15,400 picocuries per liter near two former Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power reactors designed for use in space.

BETWEEN ROCKETDYNE AND A HARD PLACE
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – August 12, 2004
Ventura County imposes testing for development within two miles of Rocketdyne in an unprecedented move to monitor pollution spreading from Boeing’s sprawling site.

TWO MILE ISLAND
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – July 22, 2004
The Rocketdyne facility is more poisoned than anyone knew. Now residents and community leaders of the northwest San Fernando Valley and Ventura County supervisors want more testing before new homes get any closer.



Blinded by the LightBLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – July 22, 2004
Astonishingly high readings of chemical pollution at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory generated by the Department of Toxic Substances Control.



TWO MILE ISLAND
Ventura County Reporter – August 5, 2004
Supervisors vote to require groundwater testing for perchlorate and trichloroethylene for any major development planned within a two mile radius around Rocketdyne.



PERCHLORATE PATROL
Los Angeles ValleyBeat – October 23, 2003
Cal-EPA comes down on Simi Valley’s Rocketdyne facility after more perchlorate contamination is found outside the lab perimeter.


THE SINS OF ROCKETDYNE
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – July 3, 2003
Part two of this special investigation looks at the heartbreak endured by people who believed that Rocketdyne’s pollution woes had made their loved ones sick. Reveleations of the growing menace of the rocket engine solvent trichloroethylene in SSFL groundwater.



FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Los Angeles ValleyBeat – June 12, 2003
Simi Valley’s Rocketdyne facility was blasted by 50 years of rocket engines and nuclear reactor meltdowns, leaving a toxic disaster atop what residents call “The Hill.” Runoff may be poisoning Southland residents. And now the government just broke a promise to clean it up.


Things are Perc-ing UpTHINGS ARE PERC-ING UP
Ventura County Reporter – February 13, 2003
Hearing in Thousand Oaks on the dangers that the rocket fuel oxidizer perchlorate poses to our the water supply. Rocketdyne admits burning 1,700 pounds of the toxin. Readings of perchlorate in the surface water at the lab are 24,000 times the States maximum dose.

ROCKETDYNE RUNAROUND
LA Weekly – January 11, 2000
The EPA invites community activists to tour three former Rocketdyne nuclear buildings to observe an environmental survey for radioactive contamination. The media is invited except Collins whose coverage is deemed “obviously imbalanced” according to Boeing.

RocketdyingROCKETDYING
LA Weekly – October 14, 1999
Rocketdyne officials had accused Collins of lying in 1998 when he disclosed that the company was a major supplier of America’s nuclear arsenal. Turns out he was right: engines for the nuclear-tipped Navaho, Atlas and Jupiter missiles were tested at SSFL.

TOXIC SPRING
LA Weekly – August 5, 1999
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has proposed allowing the company to excavate contaminated soil from one of the filthiest sites at the Rocketdyne’s facility, the sodium burn pit, which had PCBs, dioxin, mercury, and the rocket fuel oxidizer perchlorate.

Rocket SlimeROCKET SLIME
LA Weekly – July 8, 1999
It’s been more than a decade since Rocketdyne shut down its nuclear-test site to focus on cleaning up the toxic goo contaminating its sprawling compound. Department of Energy has fought for lenient standards all along.

BLAST FROM THE PAST
LA Weekly – May 5, 1999
In 1994, two Rocketdyne scientists blow themselves apart at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory prompting Rocketdyne to plead guilty to environmental crimes and to pay $6.5 million in fines, one of the largest such monetary penalties to date.

STATE STAINED IN ROCKETDYNE SCANDAL
LA Weekly – May 5, 1999
Watchdog agency under fire for colluding with space firm. The high-level attention was sparked by recent revelations that DHS staff suppressed findings of elevated levels of lung cancer in Simi and San Fernando Valley communities surrounding the Rocketdyne facility.

Rocket ManROCKET MAN
LA Weekly – April 21, 1999
William Webber’s memory of fire where he warned Rocketdyne that using poisonous nitrogen tetraoxide gas near LAX could possibly kill travelers in terminals, but his pleas are dismissed by company hire-ups, he says.

UCLA Study Burns RocketdyneUCLA STUDY BURNS ROCKETDYNE
LA Weekly – April 21, 1999
Cancer rates elevated among space-lab workers.



Suited UpSUITED UP
LA Weekly – January 20, 1999
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court okays a class action lawsuit against Boeing over its lab’s pollution and an appeals court guts two cases against the parent company of Rocketdyne.

happy_valleyMELTDOWN MONEY
LA Weekly - December 23, 1998
Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson awards aerospace giant Boeing $148.5 million to complete cleanup efforts at its Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory by 2006. . “This is the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop,” says one environmentalist.

Total RecallTOTAL RECALL
LA Weekly – December 9, 1998
A former Rocketdyne worker emotionally tells a Simi Valley audience of his time on “The Hill” where venting nuclear reactor core gases were part of the job.


Rocketdyne's Red GlareROCKETDYNE’S RED GLARE
LA Weekly – December 9, 1998
The government and the community are at loggerheads over the Rocketdyne laboratory in the hills between the Simi and San Fernando valleys in Southern California.

HOT ZONE
Los Angeles Magazine – June 1998
Rocketdyne’s Simi Valley Field Laboratory was on the frontlines of the Cold War. Now some who lived near “The Hill” say they share two distinctions: chronic illness and the unswerving belief that the lab caused it.