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Radioactive Waste

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 1989 | MYRON LEVIN, Times Staff Writer
In the black depths of the ocean near the Channel Islands lies a largely forgotten memento of the early nuclear age. It is low-level radioactive waste generated at Rockwell International's Santa Susana Field Laboratory and Canoga Park plants. For about a decade starting in the early 1950s, Atomics International, later part of Rockwell, dumped hundreds of drums of radioactive waste in 6,000 feet of water south of Santa Cruz Island. Today, precise information on the dump is hard to come by. Old U.
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NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Washington state accused the federal government Monday of missing crucial legal deadlines to clean up 56 million gallons of highly radioactive waste at the former Hanford nuclear weapons site in southeastern Washington, demanding a new set of schedules by April 15. Gov. Jay Inslee and state Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz demanding that eight new double-shelled storage tanks be built to hold waste that is in leaky underground tanks with single steel walls.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
A coalition of environmental groups accused state regulators Monday of allowing low-level radioactive waste from the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory to be illegally disposed of in landfills not licensed to receive such material. Consumer Watchdog,  the Center for Race Poverty and the Environment, and others said debris from six structures from the former nuclear research facility already had been delivered to municipal landfills and metal and concrete recyclers. The environmental groups also threatened to seek a court order to stop the demolition and disposal of the plutonium fuel fabrication building if the state does not step in within 24 hours.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The Energy Department, dealing with twin setbacks in its long effort to deal with Cold War-era radioactive waste, said Tuesday it was stopping construction of a massive plant in South Carolina to handle surplus plutonium and proceeding with an investigation into a leak at a nuclear dump in New Mexico that exposed 13 workers to airborne plutonium. In releasing its fiscal 2015 budget, energy officials said they were stopping construction of the "mixed oxide fuel" plant at the Savannah River site in South Carolina.
NATIONAL
November 21, 2012 | By Ralph Vartabedian
An investigation by the U.S. Energy Department has found that San Francisco engineering firm Bechtel may have committed a wide range of safety and health violations at a plant it is building to treat high-level radioactive waste at Hanford, Wash., according to agency documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The Energy Department halted construction at the plant earlier this year in the wake of allegations that the treatment complex had fundamental design and construction flaws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1986
Doug Smith deserves commendation for his excellent article "The Santa Susana Syndrome" (Sept. 27). However, although he did mention the radioactive material used by Rocketdyne in Canoga Park and the spent nuclear fuel rods in the Santa Susana Mountains, he did not refer to the question about the routes taken by the trucks carrying away the radioactive wastes. Marlin Remley of Rocketdyne answered that he did not know which local streets were used, but that the trucks eventually used freeways 118, 405 and 5. He also said the public was not informed of these radioactive shipments.
NEWS
April 7, 1993 | Associated Press
A tank of radioactive waste exploded and burned Tuesday at a weapons plant in the Siberian city of Tomsk-7, contaminating 2,500 acres and exposing firefighters to dangerous levels of radiation, Russian officials said. It was unclear how much radiation was released in the accident or how many people might be affected.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - An aging tank of high-level radioactive waste is leaking at the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington state at the rate of up to 300 gallons a year, federal authorities disclosed Friday after discovering a dip in the volume of toxic sludge in the tank. Though more than a third of the 149 old single-shell tanks at the site are suspected to have leaked up to 1 million gallons of nuclear waste over the years, this is the first confirmed leak since federal authorities completed a so-called stabilization program in 2005 that was supposed to have removed most liquids from the vulnerable single-shell  tanks.
NEWS
October 19, 1988 | Associated Press
Gov. Cecil D. Andrus today banned further shipments of low-level radioactive waste into Idaho until the federal government opens a permanent repository for that waste. "Any of this waste will be stopped at the border," Andrus declared, accusing the government of reneging on two promises to begin moving millions of cubic feet of temporarily stored waste out of the state. Andrus notified Energy Secretary John S.
BUSINESS
January 2, 1990
A unit of American Ecology Corp. of Agoura Hills said it moved a step closer toward establishing a low-level radioactive waste disposal site in the southeastern California desert. US Ecology said the state Department of Health Services found that the company's application for a license to develop and operate the facility was complete. That means the proposal will now undergo a technical review by the agency, a process that could take a year, the company said.
WORLD
December 5, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Authorities sought at least two thieves on Thursday who had seized a truck with radioactive material in central Mexico, while a family who found and took home the exposed stolen container was under medical observation, officials said. The truck was hijacked Monday by gunmen who intercepted it north of Mexico City. It was transporting a large amount of highly active cobalt-60, a radioactive substance used in the treatment of cancer, from a hospital in Tijuana to a nuclear waste storage dump near the capital.
NATIONAL
October 3, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. On Wednesday, Tamosaitis, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., was laid off from his job after 44 years with the company. The concerns that Tamosaitis raised two years ago about the design of the waste treatment plant, a $12.3-billion industrial complex that would turn highly radioactive sludge into glass, were validated by federal investigators.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
A coalition of environmental activists and consumer groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state Department of Toxics Substances Control, seeking an injunction to stop the demolition and disposal of buildings at the Santa Susana Field Lab. Consumer Watchdog, Physicians for Social Responsibility and other groups have accused the state of putting the public at risk by allowing low-level radioactive waste from the former nuclear research facility...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
A coalition of environmental groups accused state regulators Monday of allowing low-level radioactive waste from the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory to be illegally disposed of in landfills not licensed to receive such material. Consumer Watchdog,  the Center for Race Poverty and the Environment, and others said debris from six structures from the former nuclear research facility already had been delivered to municipal landfills and metal and concrete recyclers. The environmental groups also threatened to seek a court order to stop the demolition and disposal of the plutonium fuel fabrication building if the state does not step in within 24 hours.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - An aging tank of high-level radioactive waste is leaking at the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington state at the rate of up to 300 gallons a year, federal authorities disclosed Friday after discovering a dip in the volume of toxic sludge in the tank. Though more than a third of the 149 old single-shell tanks at the site are suspected to have leaked up to 1 million gallons of nuclear waste over the years, this is the first confirmed leak since federal authorities completed a so-called stabilization program in 2005 that was supposed to have removed most liquids from the vulnerable single-shell  tanks.
NATIONAL
February 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The long-troubled project to clean up radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., has come under attack from another senior manager, the third to assert that top executives are ignoring serious problems in the plant's design. Donna Busche, the manager of environmental and nuclear safety for San Francisco-based URS Corp., alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that executives at the $13.4-billion project attempted to suppress her warnings and were working to fire her. Busche, a nuclear engineer and health physicist, alleged that pressure to meet deadlines led the company to retaliate against her for insisting on stringent safety practices at the former nuclear weapons complex.
NEWS
June 3, 1999 | DAVE LESHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Gov. Gray Davis said Wednesday that he will order a panel of experts and environmentalists to explore options for the disposal of radioactive waste now that plans for a controversial site in Ward Valley have been scuttled. The governor announced that he will not appeal a judge's decision in March that blocked an attempt by California to obtain the Ward Valley property in the eastern Mojave Desert from the federal government. Davis has been a longtime opponent of the Ward Valley proposal.
NATIONAL
November 21, 2012 | By Ralph Vartabedian
An investigation by the U.S. Energy Department has found that San Francisco engineering firm Bechtel may have committed a wide range of safety and health violations at a plant it is building to treat high-level radioactive waste at Hanford, Wash., according to agency documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The Energy Department halted construction at the plant earlier this year in the wake of allegations that the treatment complex had fundamental design and construction flaws.
NATIONAL
July 6, 2011 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Walter Tamosaitis, once a top engineer in the nation's nuclear weapons cleanup program, has been relegated to a basement storage room equipped with cardboard-box and plywood furniture with nothing to do for the last year. Tamosaitis' bosses sent him there when he persisted in raising concerns about risks at the Energy Department's project to deal with millions of gallons of radioactive waste near Hanford, Wash., including the potential for hydrogen gas explosions. "Walt is killing us," said Frank Russo, Bechtel Corp.'s top manager at the project, in an email to Tamosaitis' boss urging that the engineer be brought under control.
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