California Wildfire Likely Spread Nuclear Contamination From Toxic Site

The incredibly destructive Woolsey Fire in southern California has burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, killed three people, destroyed more than 400 structures, and at the time of this writing, was finally nearly completely contained.

The fire may also have released large amounts of radiation and toxins into the air after burning through a former rocket engine testing site where a partial nuclear meltdown took place nearly six decades ago.

“The Woolsey Fire has most likely released and spread both radiological and chemical contamination that was in the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s soil and vegetation via smoke and ash,” Dr. Bob Dodge, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA), told Truthout.

The fire has been widely reported to have started “near” the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site (SSFL), but according to PSR-LA, it appears to have started at the site itself.

The contaminated site — a 2,849-acre former rocket engine test site and nuclear research facility — is located just 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

A press release issued by PSR-LA on November 12 stated:

Cal Fire identifies the fire location as E Street and Alfa Road, a location that is in fact on SSFL. It was recently reported that the “Chatsworth electric substation” experienced a disturbance 2 minutes before the fire was reported, but that substation is in fact on SSFL, near that location. A photograph posted on Twitter from KCAL9’s Stu Mundel shows the fire starting Thursday afternoon near the same location [on November 8], which is only about 1,000 yards away from the site of the 1959 partial nuclear meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) reactor.

Cal Fire maps show that much of the SSFL is within the boundaries of the Woolsey Fire.

In the aforementioned press release on the crisis, Denise Duffield, the organization’s…

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