Radioactive Waste Fell On Some LA-Area Neighborhoods During 2018 Woolsey Fire, New Study Shows

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High levels of radioactive particles landed in neighborhoods from Thousand Oaks to Simi Valley during the massive 2018 Woolsey fire, which started at the contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab, according to a peer-reviewed study just published by a team of scientists known for studying environmental disasters.

What’s stunning about the findings is that they run contrary to what California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said to calm public fears in the hours after the Woolsey Fire…

Read more from the NBC4 story here.

MSNBC Films Acquires SSFL Documentary ‘In the Dark of the Valley’

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A fight for answers as to why their children were battling rare cancers forms the crux of “In the Dark of the Valley,” the newest acquisition by MSNBC Films, a nascent unit that hopes to build the cable-news network’s pipeline of longform projects. … MSNBC will debut the film on Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET. … “This is one of the most devastating man-made environmental disasters in our country that we rarely talk about,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said in a statement. “This film illustrates the relentless efforts of mothers in pursuit of truth and heightens the human side of this poignant story.”

Read the full story from Variety here. MSNBC has released a profile of some of the key people in the SSFL fight, as well as a trailer for the documentary.

Valley activists, residents head to Sacramento to demand cleanup of contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab

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Organizers of the demonstration said the California Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Toxic Substances Control, the regulatory agency overseeing the investigation and cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater at the SSFL, failed to hold polluters accountable, allowing them to walk away from cleaning contaminated sites often located in low-income and working-class communities.

Here’s the full story from the Los Angeles Daily News.

Report: Some Los Alamos nuclear waste too hazardous to move (Santa Fe New Mexican)

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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.

Thirteen Organizations Oppose John D. Graham’s Membership on National Academies’ Low-Dose Radiation Committee

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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.

LA Daily News: NASA will dismantle two test sites at toxic Santa Susana Field Lab area

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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.

The dark legacy of a nuclear meltdown, and what it means for climate change

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“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.

California and Boeing Mediating Cleanup Dispute at Former Nuke Site Near Simi Valley, Worrying Activists

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“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.