Los Alamos National Laboratory has identified 45 barrels of radioactive waste so potentially explosive — due to being mixed with incompatible chemicals — that crews have been told not to move them and instead block off the area around the containers … “I think the revelations are extraordinary,” said Dan Hirsch, retired director of environment and nuclear policy programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It’s troubling that some of the most dangerous substances on Earth — plutonium — are mixed with volatile materials that could accidentally cause an explosion or fire that could release them. And it’s troubling that authorities let this happen and don’t seem to know what to do about it.”
Read the full article from the Santa Fe New Mexican here.
On July 22, a comment letter signed by thirteen environmental and public interest groups was sent to the National Academies’ Committee on Developing a Long-Term Strategy for Low-Dose Radiation Research in the United States, opposing the provisional membership thereon of John D. Graham.
We write to object strongly to the provisional appointment of John D. Graham to the National Academies’ Committee on Developing a Long-Term Strategy for Low-Dose Radiation Research in the United States. Graham lacks radiation expertise, has spent decades pushing for weakening of environmental and public health protections, and has a long record of conflicts of interest and advancing positions of industry funders. Thus Graham’s addition to the committee would provide neither a balanced perspective nor technical expertise relevant to this committee, and his membership thereon would be inappropriate. What follows is a brief history of Graham’s troubled track record. We urge you to remove John D. Graham from the provisional committee membership.
The full letter can be read here. It was signed by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Beyond Nuclear, Gender and Radiation Impact Project, Support and Education for Radiation Victims, Committee to Bridge the Gap, Public Citizen Texas, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, and Physicians for Social Responsibility-San Francisco Bay Area.
Supporters of a complete cleanup of the site responded warily. Critics say that NASA already agreed under the terms of a binding deal with the state in 2010 to clean the soil on to the most stringent standard and tearing down the test stands is not aligned with the agreement.
Read the rest of the LA Daily News article here.
LA Times Today featured a segment on SSFL, including an interview with Melissa Bumstead and clips from the forthcoming SSFL documentary film In the Dark of the Valley. You can watch the whole LA Times Today segment here.
“The ongoing contamination at Santa Susana, and the voices of the mothers fighting for their children’s safety, are a reminder that nuclear energy carries great risks. Maybe new technology will make nukes safer, and the federal government will finally build a permanent repository to store nuclear waste, and there will be no more meltdowns. But maybe not.”
Read the full Los Angeles Times story here.
“The state and Boeing have quietly begun mediating the long-planned cleanup of the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory site near Simi Valley, a move activists and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks fear will water down the cleanup.”
Read the full VC Star story here.
UCLA’s Oral History Program has just released its oral history of Dan Hirsch and Bridge the Gap. in a series of five interviews recorded over a five-year period stretching from 2012 to 2017, Jane Collings, principal editor and interviewer for the UCLA Center for Oral History Research explored the history of the Committee to Bridge the Gap with President Dan Hirsch. The oral history has recently been posted on the UCLA Oral History website, where you can listen to it here.
CBG, working closely with NRDC, PEER, NIRS, and PSR helped lead opposition to an extraordinary plan by NRC to allow virtually all radioactive waste from nuclear plants, other than spent fuel, to be disposed of in local garbage dumps not licensed or designed for such wastes. NRC received thousands of comments, and admitted that the “vast majority of these comments opposed” the proposal. In the face of this overwhelming opposition, on December 27, 2020, NRC threw in the towel and rescinded the plan.
Read the joint CBG-NRDC-PSR comments.
Read The NBC Bay Area’s report by clicking below:
Nuclear Agency Abandons Sending Low Level Nuclear Waste to Local Landfills
On September 7, 2020, Michael Rose, a dear friend and key Bridge the Gap figure for 45 years, died of complications from a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. He uncovered some of the most important nuclear hazards in the country, which contributed to their elimination. Michael was the best researcher and investigative journalist we have ever met, and a gentle and caring soul, and he will be missed more than words can express.
Read more here.
Dr. Sheldon Plotkin, a mainstay of CBG and an unflagging force for science in the public interest, died April 11, 2020, at age 93. He played key roles in the shutdown of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the fight to clean it up. He served as an expert witness in the UCLA, Diablo Canyon, and San Onofre nuclear reactor cases. He was central to the establishment and operation of CBG’s longtime partner organization, the Southern California Federation of Scientists. Read more here.