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6th February 2018 - LA County Rec and Parks quietly plans hiking trails to contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab, ignoring toxins while honoring anti-cleanup gadfly


Plans to build miles-long hiking trails leading to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) in west San Fernando Valley without full environmental review are quietly progressing, a month-long investigation has found. This vetting failure ignores SSFL’s gross chemical and radioactive pollution.

The County of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks’ plan, which involves two large parcels in unincorporated parts of the county, will come before the Board of Supervisors for final approval this spring. The area of concern is called “Phase II.b”  which borders the lab, site of three partial nuclear reactor meltdowns which remains astronomically polluted.


Well this is just crazy, turning a contaminated area into a hiking trail.

(03-08-2018, 08:59 PM)vital1 Wrote: [ -> ]Well this is just crazy, turning a contaminated area into a hiking trail.


Agree Vital1, they're doing the same thing up here at Rocky Flats. Wildlife sanctuary, hiking trails, new roads through the 'park' and housing developments up to the perimeter of the old arsenal. Some have protested and tried to warn people.
(03-09-2018, 05:29 PM)Code Wrote: [ -> ]I will take the cue to repeat the problem of radiation measurement.  I bet those trails measure very little radiation, near background levels.  Without coming to grips with the errors in radiation measurement, its very hard to win the case. 

How far wrong might the measurements be?  If you take a geiger to the trail it may overestimate or especially underestimate danger by  hundreds of times.  Thats serious, the difference between a one pound rock or a hundred pound rock hitting you on the head.

The main concern at RF was plutonium dust that escaped during operations, a big fire release, and some spilled liquid that went down a drain into the sewer and out the creek.  The only testing I read about was Geiger sweeps after everything had been buried and covered with dirt.  The test results were near background and all but the central building area was declared safe.  They were going to make an effort to keep down dust when building the road.  Prairie dogs were not welcome because of fears they would bring buried material to the surface.  Geiger counters aren't that great at finding alpha emitters.
(03-10-2018, 04:43 AM)Code Wrote: [ -> ]Horse, the rad measurement conundrum is far more tangled than finding an alpha emitter, or a hidden hot particle. 

Im not convinced that a radon alpha is 'all that bad'.  I havent gotten into it fully, but epidemiology suggests radon is not a huge danger.   The same is not true for nuke fallout.   While conventional dosimetry puts alpha at about 20x the danger per dose compared to beta and gamma, this is far from the realistic numbers given by Chernobyl epidemiology for fallout.  Thats to say, it wouldnt matter how accurate your measurement was if you dont know how toxic the stuff is given its radioisotopes, its form, the route of contact, the environmental context.   You could be off by many hundreds of times.   A snake bite is either safe or have to know which snake 

From my viewpoint, rad measurement is more misleading than elucidating.   They must implement the updated coefficients of the ECRR and keep working on them too, in order for measurement to tell the story.

I agree with you about the measurements.  The inside joke was just looking for an alpha emitter with a Geiger counter.  The hot particles are no laughing matter though.  I agree with you about implementing ECRR coefficients.  If they did use ECRR instead of ICRP most of the NPPs would have to shutdown.  Reprocessing would not be possible.  Not a bad idea but industry and government won't let that happen.  The IAEA would have to grow a conscience first.

Up here in the mountains, radon gas is a common problem and it increases the risk of lung cancer when people are living in low level accumulations of radon gas.  It's not the external exposure but the internal exposure from continuously breathing it that damages airways and lungs.  

The source, the distance from the source, the duration of the exposure determines dose.  

Let's talk about the nature of fallout.  The early short lived radio-iodine gasses easily damage the thyroid.  The Cesium and Strontium daughters are the next concern.  Their longer lives, mobility, and rapid uptake by body organs make them the most dangerous to health.  Fallout will probably include Uranium and traces of other radionuclides.  With MOX fuel in current use long lived Plutonium is increased in fallout.  These are what I know to be most concerned about.  

Do you remember a link I gave you a few years ago about radiation measurement conventions and their history. Put together by some college kids it hinted at how and why we went from Rads/Rems to Sieverts.  Maybe I'll try to find it again, it was my first clue that intentional manipulations were made to minimize radiation fears and allow the industry to keep the true risks from becoming public knowledge.