Before the December 12, 2012 EPA meeting in Simi Valley, California, where the agency tried to explain how it had burned through $41.5 million for the radiation testing of Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, clean up Rocketdyne activists and community members held a press conference. Dan Hirsch, of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, and Dr. Robert Dodge of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, discuss the incredibly high amounts of radiation the EPA failed to account for and what that radiation – Cesium-137, Strontium-90 and Plutonium 239/240 does to human beings. Incredibly informative, moving and the kind of thing that makes decent people’s blood boil.
This is the $41.5 million ball of wax with this reporter asking the EPA when they figured out that they couldn’t deliver on their obligation to come up with a “look-up table” of background measurements for 55 radionuclides so that the cleanup of Rocketdyne could begin. Several labored excuses later, nuclear watchdog and Rocketdyne activist Dan Hirsch sets the record straight: EPA blew tens of millions on a comprehensive study only to jettison its own work at the last minute. Hirsch demands an investigation for misappropriation of taxpayer money. When watching this short tape, the clear hooey being proffered by the EPA does strongly suggest that the agency has defrauded the American people and cheated the people around Rocketdyne who have fought 23 years for a real study. Now they have been told to get lost in this part of the tangled, but untangling, web of deceit that is Boeing’s Meltdown Makeover.
Dan Hirsch, president of the nuclear watchdog organization Committee to Bridge the Gap, testifies before the U.S. Senate in 2008 using SSFL’s woeful safety record as a cautionary tale.
This Emmy-awarding winning CBS-22/KCAL-9 segment features members of the Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition who have fought to clean up radiological and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory for over 23 years.
This video shows Boeing’s distant demolition of an extremely contaminated area of Area I with seemingly no regard for the huge clouds of toxic dust that the heavy construction equipment was creating. Dust is launched into the air landing on any SSFL subcontractors and full-time lab workers that may have been in the area as well as drifting towards the San Fernando Valley. Most of the contaminated dust falls out on hills that drain down Happy Valley above Chatsworth into Dayton Canyon Creek and finally the Los Angeles River. Beginning at 9am June 4, 2009, according to the video time stamp, a rising cloud of dust from demolition is seen until about 11:15am. Then there’s a break, maybe for lunch, and subsequently the billowing dust starts back up again at 12:15pm and lasts until about 4:30pm.
This video by contrast depicts a very carefully done cleanup of Outfall 8 which was ordered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LARWQCB) because of continuing Boeing exceedances of goo flowing off its property. It involved excavating polluted dirt from the outfall and packaging it up burrito-style and loading into trucks which were carefully cleaned of any toxic dirt on their wheels and undercarriages before leaving SSFL to haul their sullied loads to a licensed dump.
The History Channel featured the 1958 meltdown at SSFL.
These 10 historical videos below illustrate the challenges and accomplishments of the employees at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. (Scroll down to view entire list.)
Construction of the Sodium Reactor Experiment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory – 1958
SRE core damage accident and procedures used to remove damaged fuel and refurbish the SRE – 1961
A description of the decommissioning and decontamination of the SRE prior to its release for unrestricted use – 1982
“Science Lab” TV program featuring Atomics International facilities in Canoga Park and Santa Susana – 1958
SNAP 8 Reactor Program
Development of the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) Reactor Program – 1963
SNAP Aerospace Safety
Space nuclear safety tests of SNAP program – 1963
Development and fabrication of the first U.S. nuclear reactor launched into space – 1964
SNAP 10A Launch
Launch of first and only U.S. nuclear reactor in space – 1965
Former Sodium Disposal Facility (FSDF) Remediation
First phase excavation of contaminated soil at the Former Sodium Disposal Facility (Area IV Sodium Burn Pit) – 1992
Assemblymember Julia Brownley introducing SB-990 – Part 1
Assemblymember Julia Brownley introducing SB-990 – Part 2
Santa Susana Field Laboratory Health Risks Briefing – California State Senator Sheila Kuehl