(WORK IN PROGRESS) The Santa Susana Field Lab Timeline
the Early Years
1947 North American Aviation (NAA) selects the site for the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) in the hills of Simi Valley.
1950 The first American designed and built rocket engine was tested at the lab.
1953 NAA establishes Area IV at SSFL for nuclear research
1955 Rocketdyne, a new division of NAA, is assigned responsibility for Areas I-III and Atomics International, a division of NAA, was responsible for area IV’s nuclear activities.
July 12, 1957 The Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), the nation’s first civilian nuclear power plant, goes online under the supervision of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Nov. 1957 The SRE is connected to the electric grid and briefly provides power to 3,000 people in Moorpark.
radioactive and chemical accidents
March 25, 1959 Accidental release of radiation from the AE-6 nuclear reactor inside the reactor room contaminates the room and several employees.
July 12,1959 The SRE experiences a partial meltdown, releasing radioactive contamination into the environment.
Aug 25, 1959 The Atomic Energy Commission issues a press release about the SRE accident, claiming that no release of radioactive material occurred.
Sept. 1, 1960 The SRE nuclear reactor is brought back online after the meltdown with a new reactor core.
Feb. 1, 1964 The SRE nuclear reactor is shut down for good.
Nov. 1, 1964 The SNAP8ER experimental nuclear reactor experiences damage to 80% of its radioactive fuel.
1967 NAA merges with Rockwell Standard to become North American Rockwell
July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 heads to the moon with an engine constructed and tested at the Field Lab.
Dec. 1, 1969 The SNAP8DR experimental nuclear reactor experiences damage to a third of its radioactive fuel.
May 19, 1971 A fire in a decontamination room leads to radioactive contamination being released.
1973 North American Rockwell changes its name to Rockwell International (Atomics International and Rocketdyne continue to exist as separate divisions.)
1973 NASA begins operations at the SSFL after acquiring land from the Air Force.
Nov. 1979 KNBC-TV reveals the partial meltdown at the Field Lab.
1988 Most nuclear research programs and operations end at SSFL
1989 Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition (RCC) founded
Renewal of Hot Lab license stopped due to the RCC’s advocacy
May 1, 1989 A Dept. of Energy study finds radioactive and chemical contamination at SSFL.
Jan 1, 1990 Research and testing stopped at SSFL. (Really? I thought it went to 2006)
July 26,1994 Rocket fuel explosion kills 2 scientists at the lab.
1995 Brandies-Bardien, where the popular Jewish Summer camp resides, sued Boeing for contaminating their water and land with contamination and settled for $3,000,000. However, the camp did not relocate and now claims it is totally safe for children, though no cleanup has occured on the camp or on the lab site.
Read the 1997 LA Times Article, Rocketdyne Settles Ground Water Lawsuit.
Dec 1, 1996 Rockwell International sells aerospace division to Boeing including SSFL.
2006 Rocketdyne is sold to Pratt-Whitney, Boeing retains ownership of SSFL
2007 SB 990 is passed by the CA legislatures to fully cleanup SSFL.
Jan 1, 2008 SB 990, signed by CA Governor, mandates full cleanup of SSFL.
Nov 13, 2009 Boeing sues California to overturn SB 990
Dec 6, 2010 Department of Energy and NASA sign orders with California’s EPA.
April 27, 2011 Federal judge sides with Boeing and overturns SB 990
December 2012 EPA Study??
2013: Boeing demos the Plutonium-239 Fuel Facility and the surrounding areas. Instead of propal disposal, they take thousands of tons of “low-rad” waste to construction material recyclers. It was so illegal, and outright dangerous, that Boeing was sued to stop their “cleanup.”
Read the 2013 Consumer Watchdog’s Article, Consumer Watchdog Files Suit and Blocks Top Toxic Regulator’s Disposal of Radioactive Waste.
Read the 2013 Committee to Bridge the Gap report, SSFL Demolition and Disposal Study
Oct 2016 Joel Grover and Matthew Glasser release their 9 part undercover, detailed report on the history of the SSFL.
October 2017 Boeing tells the community that they will not follow their commitments to meet local zoning cleanup regulations.
April 2017 Boeing agreeing to a conservation easement held by North American Land Trust that Boeing claims will, “permanently preserves as open space habitat nearly 2,400 acres Boeing owns at Santa Susana.” They created the easement so they could advance their “recreational” cleanup standard agenda.
items to research and add
Other nuclear and chemical accidents
t re washing vege
Chandler tarp reassignment
2007 consent order
2004 LA, NRDC, City lawsuit
SB 990 stip
Greenwashing campaign revealed
WG cancelled, CAG established
NASA EIS - public scoping, draft eis, final, recent GI report
Barbara Lee roadmap to confirmation, people’s senate stuff
DOE EIS - public scoping, draft eis, final - letters opposing final from DTSC, NGOs, electeds
DTSC EIR - public scoping, draft
Boeing reassurances to residential
Boeing open space
Parents v SSFL
City Los Angeles Motion for $600K for legal council of DOE breaks AOC
Boeing’s cleanup & lawsuit- 1000s of tons of low-rad waste sent for recycling instead of proper disposal.