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Radioactive groundwater in Santa Susanna could take centuries to clean up

water-radiationSanta Susana groundwater cleanup could take centuries, official says, VC Star, By Mike Harris, April 18, 2013 The groundwater cleanup at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of a 1959 partial nuclear meltdown, could take centuries, a state official said Wednesday night.

The soil decontamination will take far less time, a few or more years, but might not be finished by a 2017 deadline, Mark Malinowski of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control told about 100 people during a cleanup update at the Grand Vista Hotel in Simi Valley.

“It’s a very aggressive schedule to get to 2017, and many things have to happen correctly in order to get there,” said Malinowski, the department’s cleanup team manager.

The groundwater cleanup will take “a lot longer … decades, possibly centuries to complete,” Malinowski said. “Groundwater is an extremely difficult thing to clean up. This contamination we’re dealing with did not happen overnight.”……

Boeing owns most of the 2,850-acre site, formerly the Rocketdyne nuclear and rocket engine test facility, in the hills between Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley. The rest of the site is owned by the federal government and administered by NASA.

During a question-and- answer period, cleanup activists sharply questioned Malinowski’s statement that no significant contamination has been found beyond the site’s boundaries.

“I had to remind him that in 2008, they removed three football fields of contaminated soil off the adjacent Sage Ranch Park property,” William Bowling said. “And then last year, the EPA found radioactivity in a well on the campus owned by the American Jewish University, which also adjoins the site.

“They’re not giving the public the clear picture, which is that there is off-site contamination,” Bowling said.


May 3, 2013 - Posted by | USA, water

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