Nuclear Waste: The Los Angeles Meltdown & Cover-Up – EcoJustice Radio

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Woolsey Fire,Sandy huffaker

The Nov. 2018 Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties burned 96,949 acres, destroyed 1,643 structures, killed three people, and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 people. The fire started at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL or Rocketdyne), north of Los Angeles, burned in the November 2018 Woolsey Fire, threatening toxic exposures from contaminated dust, smoke, ash, and soil. In the 1940s, SSFL with its 10 experimental nuclear reactors was developed for research and weapons testing. In 1959, it suffered an uncontained partial meltdown of at least one sodium reactor referred to by experts as the worst nuclear disaster in U.S history, and the fourth largest release of iodine-131 in the history of nuclear power. Until 1979 the incident and the toxic waste byproduct that still pollutes the ground water, air, and soil was kept secret.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) denied risk from the fire that it created by delaying the long promised cleanup. Their statement failed to assuage community concerns given DTSC’s longtime pattern of misinformation about SSFL’s contamination and its repeated broken promises to clean it up.

Jessica Aldridge from SoCal 350 and Adventures in Waste discusses the issues with Denise Duffield, Associate Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, and Melissa Bumstead, Mother and local advocate, and a founder of Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab.

No More Kids With Cancer: Clean Up the Santa Susana Field Lab Petition: https://www.change.org/p/no-more-kids-with-cancer-clean-up-the-santa-susana-field-lab

Interview by Jessica Aldridge from SoCal 350 and Adventures in Waste.
Host and Engineer: JP Morris
Executive Producer: Mark Morris

Episode 26

Photo: Getty Images/ Sandy Huffaker

Updated 21 December 2018

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WilderUtopia.com regularly posts articles, photo essays, features, and documentaries from around the web that illuminate the challenges to coexistence between city and wild, developed and developing, human and other. To reach out, write to jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow us on Twitter @WilderUtopia