Sunday 14 November 2021

Los Angeles Potentially Exposed to Radioactive Dust After Explosive Demolition at Old Nuclear Test Site


Demolition in L.A. (U.S. Department of Energy)

Residents of some parts of Los Angeles are expressing concern that they may have been exposed to radioactive dust particles after the U.S. Department of Energy demolished a building last month at a former nuclear testing site by using explosives.

Local NBC Los Angeles reported Friday:

The U.S. Department of Energy demolished a building using explosives last month at the highly contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket test site in the hills above LA. The building was part of a complex at SSFL used to develop nuclear reactors.

The explosion sent clouds of dust into the sky near residential neighborhoods of what some experts say were radioactive materials.

“I was absolutely flabbergasted,” Dan Hirsch told the NBC Los Angeles I-Team.

Hirsch, the former director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz, added, “I was concerned that that radioactive cloud would migrate to where people are.”

In a press statement last month, the U.S. Department of Energy claimed that it had safely demolished the structures. It even posted a video of the demolition to YouTube:

In a statement at the time, the department said:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed safe demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC), located northwest of Los Angeles, California. Finishing the teardown of Cold War-era buildings is another important step in the Department’s cleanup activities at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL).

The federal agency declined to speak to NBC Los Angeles on camera. Experts said that there was no need to use explosives, and that there were no dust suppression mechanisms used.

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