— NRC says San Onofre Holtec nuclear waste containers are all damaged and SCE knew in January; community meeting Nov. 29

From San Onofre Safety
November 29, 2018

Handout: https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/nrc-allholteccanistersdamaged2018-11-29.pdf 

The Holtec nuclear waste storage canisters at San Onofre are lemons and must be replaced with thick-wall casks.

11/29/2019 Oceanside:   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) admits in their November 28, 2018 NRC Inspection Report and Notice of Violation, ML18332A357 (page 8 and 9) every Holtec canister downloaded into the storage holes is damaged due to inadequate clearance between the canister and the divider shell in the storage hole (vault).  The NRC states canister walls are already “worn”.  This results in cracks. Once cracks start, they continue to grow through the wall.

The NRC stated Southern California Edison (and Holtec) knew about this since January 2018, but continued to load 29 canisters anyway.  Edison’s August 24, 2018 press release states they plan to finish loading mid 2019.

The NRC states Edison must stop loading canisters until this issue is resolved.  However, there is no method to inspect or repair cracking canisters and the NRC knows this.

Attend November 29th SONGS Community Engagement Panel meeting. Tell the NRC and Edison:
The Holtec thin canister system is a lemon and must be replaced. Demand they replace all thin-wall canisters with proven thick-wall casks before it’s too late. Ratepayers didn’t pay for lemons.  

  • QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida Del Oro, Oceanside, CA 92056
  • November 29, 2018 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • More meeting details at songscommunity.com website

For the rest of the story: 

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— Massive California fire started at radioactive Santa Susana Field Laboratory site, Physicians for Social Responsibility warns of radioactive releases

From Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles
November 12, 2018

See website for more photos

Massive Woolsey Fire Began On Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Close to Site of Partial Meltdown

Electric Substation at SSFL Tripped 2 Minutes Before Fire Reported

For Immediate Release: November 12, 2018
Contact:  Denise Duffield, 310-339-9676 or dduffield@psr-la.orgMelissa Bumstead818-298-3192 or melissabumstead@sbcglobal.netDan Hirsch831-336-8003 or dhirsch1@cruzio.com


The tremendously destructive Woolsey Fire has been widely reported as beginning “near” the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL or Rocketdyne), but it appears that the fire began on the Rocketdyne property itself.  Cal Fire identifies the fire location as E Street and Alfa Road, a location that is in fact on SSFL. It was recently reported that the “Chatsworth electric substation” experienced a disturbance 2 minutes before the fire was reported, but that substation is in fact on SSFL, near that location.  A photograph posted on Twitter from KCAL9’s Stu Mundel shows the fire starting Thursday afternoon near the same location, which is only about 1,000 yards away from the site of the 1959 partial nuclear meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) reactor.

A report filed with the California Public Utilities Commission by Southern California. Edison states that the “Chatsworth substation” suffered an outage at 2:22 pm Thursday, two minutes before the Woolsey fire is reported to have begun.  The Chatsworth substation is located “within the larger Boeing Rocketdyne Santa Susana complex,” according to a CPUC document (see bottom of page C-15 or page 17 of the pdf.)  The electrical substation (marked with a pin in the photo above and a circle in the photos below, and enlarged in the last photo) is a few hundred yards to the west of where the fire is shown in the Thursday aerial photo as starting, and a few hundred yards to the east of the SRE complex, where the reactor suffered its accident. The substation had been built in part to provide electricity from the reactor, which was the first reactor to produce commercial electricity for the commercial grid, before it became the first such commercial reactor to suffer a partial meltdown.

“Though we must wait for fire authorities to conclude their investigation, it is ironic that an electrical substation built for a reactor that melted down six decades ago now may now be associated with a catastrophic fire that began on the SSFL site that is still badly contaminated from that accident and numerous other spills and releases,” said Denise Duffield, Associate Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA.)

Cal Fire maps indicate that much of SSFL is within the fire boundaries.

Decades of nuclear and rocket-engine testing activity, including nuclear reactor accidents and other toxic spills and releases, have resulted in widespread contamination throughout SSFL’s 2,850 acre facility. Federally-funded studies indicate higher cancer incidents associated with proximity to the site. The California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which has regulatory oversight over the parties responsible for cleaning up the contamination – the Dept. of Energy, NASA, and the Boeing Company – signed legally binding agreements to fully cleanup the contamination by 2017. However, the cleanup has not even begun and DTSC is considering vastly weaker cleanup plans.

“If DTSC and those responsible for polluting SSFL had not broken their cleanup commitments, we wouldn’t be facing the prospect of contamination now being driven off site by the fire,” said Duffield..

“The Woolsey Fire likely released and spread radiological and chemical contamination that was in SSFL’s soil and vegetation via smoke and ash,” said Dr. Bob Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. “All wildfire smoke can be hazardous to health, but if SSFL had been cleaned up long ago as DTSC promised, we’d at least not have to worry about exposure to dangerous radionuclides and chemicals as well.”

A statement released by DTSC approximately 10 hours after the fire began said the agency doesn’t believe the fire caused the release of hazardous substances.  Mohsen Nazemi, Deputy Director for DTSC’s Brownfields & Environmental Restoration Program, participated in a community meeting Sunday night in Woodland Hills, repeating the same unfounded denials and leaving without taking questions.

“We’ve learned not to trust anything DTSC says, so we’re demanding independent testing and air monitoring for radiation and chemicals from SSFL,” said Melissa Bumstead, a West HIlls resident whose daughter has twice survived leukemia that she believes was caused by SSFL. Bumstead’s Change.org petition urging that SSFL cleanup commitments be upheld has been signed by over 430,000 people.

“DTSC has made one broken promise after another, and it wasn’t truthful about SSFL’s contamination long before the fire started.” said Bumstead. “Why would we believe DTSC’s statement that the fire caused no additional risk, when they know they’re the ones responsible for SSFL still being contaminated in the first place?”

Marie Mason, Simi Valley resident and co-founder of the Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition, agrees. “We’re outraged that after all these years, decades of foot-dragging by DTSC, an agency that is captured by polluters, may have resulted in even more toxic exposures. We’ve always worried about a fire at SSFL, and now a massive wildfire has started on site itself. SSFL could have and should have been cleaned up a long time ago.”

PSR-LA’s Duffield said, “While we must await the final investigation of the cause of the fire, the presently available evidence indicates it appears to have begun on the Santa Susana Field Lab, and the failure to clean it up has significantly increased risks to the public nearby.” 

###

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) is the largest chapter of the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility and has worked for the full cleanup of SSFL for over 30 years.. PSR-LA advocates for policies and practices that protect public health from nuclear and environmental threats and eliminate health disparities.

Parents vs. SSFL is a grassroots group of concerned parents and residents who demand compliance with cleanup agreements signed in 2010 that require a full cleanup of all radioactive and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

The Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition, or RCC, is a community-based alliance dedicated to the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), commonly known as Rocketdyne.


NOTE: We are demanding independent post-fire testing and air monitoring for radiation and chemicals from SSFL. Given the extent of SSFL’s contamination, precautions recommended by fire authorities, such as limiting outdoor activities and using N95 face masks in smokey areas, are especially important.

https://www.psr-la.org/massive-woolsey-fire-began-on-contaminated-santa-susana-field-laboratory-close-to-site-of-partial-meltdown/

— California Woolsey fire burns nuclear meltdown site SSFL; Physicians for Social Responsibility responds to LA Magazine misinformation

From Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles

November 9, 2018

THE SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY (ROCKETDYNE) BURNED IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE, THREATENING TOXIC EXPOSURES FROM CONTAMINATED DUST, SMOKE, ASH AND SOIL. THE DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL DENIES RISK THAT IT CREATED BY DELAYING THE LONG PROMISED CLEANUP.

For Immediate Release: November 9, 2018

Contact: Denise Duffield, 310-339-9676 or dduffield@psr-la.org, Melissa Bumstead 818-298-3192* or melissabumstead@sbcglobal.net,


Last night, the Woolsey fire burned the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket engine testing site. Footage from local television showed flames surrounding rocket test stands, and the fire’s progress through to Oak Park indicates that much of the toxic site burned.

statement released by the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said that its staff, “do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.” The 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.

“We can’t trust anything that DTSC says,” said West Hills resident Melissa Bumstead, whose young daughter has twice survived leukemia that she blames on SSFL and who has mapped 50 other cases of rare pediatric cancers near the site. Bumstead organized a group called “Parents vs. SSFL” and launched a Change.org petition demanding full cleanup of SSFL that has been signed by over 410,000 people. “DTSC repeatedly minimizes risk from SSFL and has broken every promise it ever made about the SSFL cleanup. Communities throughout the state have also been failed by DTSC. The public has no confidence in this troubled agency,” said Bumstead.

Nuclear reactor accidents, including a famous partial meltdown, tens of thousands of rocket engine tests, and sloppy environmental practices have left SSFL polluted with widespread radioactive and chemical contamination. Government-funded studies indicate increased cancers for offsite populations associated with proximity to the site, and that contamination migrates offsite over EPA levels of concern. In 2010, DTSC signed agreements with the Department of Energy and NASA that committed them to clean up all detectable contamination in their operational areas by 2017. DTSC also in 2010 committed to require Boeing, which owns most of the site, to cleanup to comparable standards. But the cleanup has not yet begun, and DTSC is currently considering proposals that will leave much, if not all, of SSFL’s contamination on site permanently.

Dr. Robert Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, shares the community’s concerns. “We know what substances are on the site and how hazardous they are. We’re talking about incredibly dangerous radionuclides and toxic chemicals such a trichloroethylene, perchlorate, dioxins and heavy metals. These toxic materials are in SSFL’s soil and vegetation, and when it burns and becomes airborne in smoke and ash, there is real possibility of heightened exposure for area residents.”

Dodge said protective measures recommended during any fire, such as staying indoors and wearing protective face masks, are even more important given the risks associated with SSFL’s contamination. Community members are organizing a campaign on social media to demand that DTSC release a public statement revealing the potential risks of exposure to SSFL contamination related to the fire.

But for residents such as Bumstead, worries will remain until SSFL is fully cleaned up. “When I look at that fire, all I see is other parents’ future heartache,” said Bumstead, “And what I feel is anger that if the DTSC had kept its word, we wouldn’t have these concerns, because the site would be cleaned up by now.”

###

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) is the largest chapter of the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility and has worked for the full cleanup of SSFL for over 30 years.. PSR-LA advocates for policies and practices that protect public health from nuclear and environmental threats and eliminate health disparities.

Parents vs. SSFL is a grassroots group of concerned parents and residents who demand compliance with cleanup agreements signed in 2010 that require a full cleanup of all radioactive and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

*The phone number for Melissa Bumstead has been corrected, an earlier version of this press release had an incorrect number.

RESPONSE TO LA MAGAZINE ARTICLE:

On November 10, Los Angeles Magazine ran an article claiming there was no risk related to SSFL contamination from the Woolsey fire that we now know actually began on the SSFL property itself. Below is our response.

Los Angeles Magazine must print a correction – this article is filled with errors and misinformation:

  1. There is no need to put quotes around “significantly contaminated” – SSFL is one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, subject of a promised but long-delayed state and federal cleanup; it is heavily contaminated with well documented nuclear and chemical contamination, from, among other things, a partial nuclear meltdown.
  2. The claim in the first hours of the fire by DTSC, an agency that has no public confidence to the point that the state legislature commissioned an Independent Review Panel to investigate its failings (which include the Exide fiasco in Vernon,) that it didn’t “believe” there was a risk is cover for its failure to live up to its cleanup commitments (it had promised the site would be cleaned up by 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun). It is pure conjecture. DTSC does not have have any scientific data to back up the claim. It based the spurious assertion on its claim that the fire in its first hours was not in areas where contamination could be released, but the state fire department now shows almost all of the contaminated site as within the fire boundary.
  3. DTSC did not release it’s statement in response to the Forbes article, it released it the night before, when virtually nothing was known about the extent of the fire at SSFL
  4. SSFL is NEVER referred to as Area IV – that is simply one area in the site, the area where most of the nuclear activity occurred
  5. Given the extent of contamination in the site’s soil and vegetation, it is indeed possible and likely that contamination from the site was spread further from the fire in smoke, dust, and ash.

The bottom line is it irresponsible to claim that SSFL contamination was not spread further by the fire. Los Angeles Magazine may wish to read its own cover story from 1998: HOT ZONE – Rocketdyne’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory was on the front lines 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.

https://www.psr-la.org/woolsey-fire-burns-nuclear-meltdown-site-that-state-toxics-agency-failed-to-clean-up/

See also

https://www.vcstar.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/02/11/dodge-hirsch-santa-susana-field-lab-broken-promises/97766134/