Chemical & Nuclear Clean Up A-Z of the Santa Susana Research Facility

A - Z


ACTIVISM is the doctrine or practice of vigorous action as a means of achieving goals. Community activism at SSFL has resulted in law. Use Your Voice!


Background or the naturally & unrelated radiological impact to the site, which includes naturally occurring radionuclides and those caused by global nuclear weapons testing & events (i.e. Chernobyl & 3 Mile Island). Establishing background helps create fair, protective standards. Background is the cleanup standard set within the AOC signed December 2010 by DOE and NASA, but Boeing is not a signer of this document and instead sued to overturn SB990. One of the issues with a cleanup to background is the bright-line not to exceed approach that does not allow for balancing criteria or area averaging which is normally part of the delineation process used by EPA.


The CONSENT ORDER by Project Director Norm Riley of DTSC mandates the clean-up of the site according to the CERCLA process with milestones of completion targeting 2017. It is agreed to by all parties: Boeing, DOE & NASA. Currently this is the order that remains in place that Boeing must follow, where the other two parties are following a different process as shown under background. The deadline of 2017 remains fast due to this important order, but four years have now been spent fighting over what SB990 means,leaving little time to consider less impactful solutions like phyto remediation technologies offering in situ or in place solutions that don't burden other communities with our waste. These solutions require more time, and since the feasibility portion doesn't come up until 2013 2014 timeframe, there is concern that the only solution will be to haul it away. This is not to say phyto can do everything, it can't. But it can significantly reduce soil volumes and trucks coming down the hill, by potentially tens of thousands of trucks reduced. C can also mean "clearly contaminated areas" as being defined by DOE and DTSC based on chemical impacts where the concentration levels are "no where close to background, but far above" and these areas are being identified to save sampling budget monies since we already know these areas will need to be removed. There is concern about how these areas will be managed for rad so they are properly screened and sent to the appropriate place.


DIOXINS are the results of brush fires and also from decades of burning hazardous waste in burnpits. Higher concentrations of the most toxic congeners are indicative of the "test to extinction" practices of disposing of toxic waste through combustion. D can also mean Dtsc who has final say as to what is considered "clean" as the lead oversight agency instead of EPA under the superfund program.


The EPA leads a radiation survey bringing needed expertise--Workers' records were lost or contaminated, resulting in EXPOSURE dose reconstruction for EIOCPA NIOSH claims. ENVIRONMENTAL decontamination resulted in releases to the surrounding communities. Through the EPA radiological soil survey conducted so far, it has been acknowledged that waste from the SRE was pumped back to the Silvernale pond through areas 3 and 2 , yet these areas continue to be excluded from the nosh program and those workers even through the contamination movement in this direction has been acknowledged.


FONSI The "Finding of No Significant Impact" led to a lawsuit filed by Committee to Bridge the Gap, the NRDC, and the City of Los Angeles. Now after the AOC was signed in December of 2010, it states that within 45 days of that signing, they (meaning the combined parties including DOE are go to Judge Conti for relief from that order to make the AOC possible.


Gap Analysis by EPA includes a Gamma walk-over survey of 100% of Area IV. Let us look at what is defined as 100% and ask ourselves: Is this enough?


H20: The Los Angeles Waterboard's recent Order for Source Removal requires clean-up versus the proposed treatment systems (ENTS) that would leave the contamination in place.


Imminent Substantial Endangerment Order issued by Norm Riley led to the discovery of 1,100 squibb (and other) igniters buried in the creekbed. A comprehensive understanding of past disposal practices are critical to getting it completed. this is now finished and resulted in more than 20,000 cubic yards of soil and contaminant debris removal that led down the northern drainage to Brandeis summer camp below.


John Pace a former reactor trainee from 1959 who shared critical information about the partial meltdown, including fuel handling accidents that further complicated the process, causing more contamination to be released.


Senator Kuehl paved the way for new possibilities with support and tenacity with five legislative attempts to mandate that the polluter clean up SSFL. Now we have a clean site within our view, estimated completion in 2017.


The Los Angeles Waterboard recently issued a source removal order for the Northern Drainage and Happy Valley (Outfalls 8 & 9) instead of the previous ENTS proposal.


Monuments & Parkland are premature. We need to first understand what is feasible and how safe it will be, BEFORE adding any new potential exposure pathways.


NASA's openness has unlocked the doors to transparency. But, our race to space is only half of the story. We need to pay equal attention to its environmental & human health costs.


Off-site Contamination. A newly promised 360 degree look around SSFL considering all potential disposal areas which may still harbor contaminants from the past. Previous off-site contamination resulted in buffer-zone land purchases.


The Potential migration of plutonium, perchlorate, PCE, other chemicals & radionuclides. Porter - Cologne Act - Peacekeeper Propellant loading at SSFL - Promises kept and broken. Public Participation Group. After DTSC denies the legally petitioned CAG (community Advisory Group), a PPG is formed in its place, but without an open and community-driven agenda, and without the responsible parties at the table, or legislators being present. Anything to protect the power behind the SSFL Workgroup where the electeds participate, and the agenda is controlled by Committee to Bridge the Gap's Dan Hirsch, and panel membership is for life, with no opportunity for new ideas, or people to be part of the process. The process has been broken for a long time, and the SSFL workgroup is designed to keep it broken, with only the AOC signers on the Panel, and Boeing, not participating in the process. A double sided blade, they don't have to answer questions from the public, and the political escapades can be presented without correction or discussion since those parties aren't in the room. Nothing is transcribed, so the SSFL Workgroup Show" is just that. We need collaborative involvement from the concerned surrounding public, not just those hand-picked. We need committed attendance as this is complicated and if members don't participate except for when political pressure dictates.


Quality It is all about quality. Air l water l soil l groundwater l regulatory l scientific analytical l health-risk assessment l sampling l background l worker claims review QUALITY. With quality, comes protective safety.


Radiation knows no boundaries. Operational activities went beyond Area IV and we need to make sure we look closely for radionuclides in all areas. Radium 226 was recently discovered in Area I.


The State overturned SB990 with its decision for non-concurrence with the EPA's Superfund recommendation because the federal clean-up would not recognize state law and use those more protective standards.


The resulting radiation release from the SRE is estimated to be more than 240 times that of Three Mile Island & more than half a million gallons of TOXIC TCE in the groundwater below.


URANIUM 238 has a half-life of 4.7 billion years & was introduced as "Man's New Servant: The Friendly Atom" in the 1954 National Geographic. It has since proved to be riddled with risks to which there is no recovery; there is no safe way of handling nuclear materials.


Ventura County leads in permits required for the ISRA project which has since turned into a source removal order by the Los Angeles Waterboard.


SSFL WORKGROUP meetings provide the public an opportunity to weigh in on the issues and get involved. WORKER claims continue to be denied, where the WAITING game puts them at a disadvantage.


The world's largest X-Ray (computer tomography) machine is located at SSFL. In addition to looking inside a reactor vessel, it was used to x-ray the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex, recently discovered in South Dakota.


Yes, we can!


ZE0LITE is used in the body to remove toxins and it is used at the SSFL to prevent toxins from continuing to leave the site. Zeolite, comprised of a group of volcanic minerals, is used in an ion exchange process to remove metals and other toxins.

This guide was created by the Studio for Southern California History  for the Aerospace Cancer Museum of Education & Cleanup Rocketdyne copyright 2009
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