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Radioactivity

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 1989 | MYRON LEVIN and TRACEY KAPLAN, Times Staff Writers
Elevated levels of radioactivity have been detected in three private wells near Rockwell International's Santa Susana Field Laboratory west of Chatsworth, according to data that seem to contradict statements by Rockwell officials. There is no indication that the low radioactivity poses a danger or that it came from the nuclear research lab, instead of occurring naturally in the rocks and soil. But the findings appear to conflict with statements by Rockwell's Rocketdyne division about testing of wells near its 2,668-acre complex southeast of Simi Valley.
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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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NEWS
February 2, 1985 | United Press International
A leak of radioactive Strontium-90 at the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory caused unusually high levels of radioactivity in White Oak Creek for several hours Friday. Laboratory spokesman Ed Aebischer said water samples taken Friday morning showed radioactivity levels four times above the creek's normal level. But Friday afternoon samples were normal, Aebischer said, indicating the problem had corrected itself.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
The four identically dressed members of Kraftwerk stood before electronic consoles, glowing lecterns outlined in strips of blue light, in a dark Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Above them, three-dimensional moving images of sleek commuter trains speeding down tracks, molecules colliding and musical notes orbiting an idealized Earth were projected onto a vast screen.  Appearing for the first and second of eight sold-out performances over four...
WORLD
March 12, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Japanese officials have told a U.N. atomic watchdog group that there was an initial increase in radioactivity around a nuclear plant Saturday following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake, but that levels "have been observed to lessen in recent hours. " Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency released a statement in Vienna on Saturday saying they had been informed by Japanese authorities that an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred outside the primary containment vessel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Radiation detected off the U.S. West Coast from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has declined since the 2011 tsunami disaster and never approached levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or wildlife, scientists say. Experts have been trying to dispel worries stemming from a burst of online videos and blog posts in recent months that contend radiation from Fukushima is contaminating beaches and seafood and harming sea...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 1986 | DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB, Times Staff Writer
Minute amounts of radioactivity from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union were reported in the air around Los Angeles Wednesday and in samples taken during the last two weeks in other parts of California. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said traces of iodine-131--less than 1.6 picocuries per cubic meter--were detected in Los Angeles Wednesday.
NEWS
August 18, 1987
A Soviet official conceded it was theoretically possible that a Soviet underground nuclear test could have caused slightly higher radioactivity over Sweden, but he said it was highly unlikely. Yuri Izrael, head of the Soviet Meteorological Service, told a news conference in Moscow there was no proof linking an Aug. 2 underground test on Novaya Zemlya island to the "infinitesimally small" increase of radioactivity in Sweden's atmosphere.
WORLD
October 23, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Hundreds of elevator buttons in France will be replaced because authorities found radioactive materials from India at a supplier factory, a source at manufacturer Otis said. The French Nuclear Safety Authority said about 20 workers at the plant run by the firm Mafelec had been exposed to radioactivity above legal norms. The source at Otis, who declined to be named, said there was no risk to people's health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1991
Your article says " . . . 'friendly fire' claimed the lives of 35 American servicemen and injured another 72, mostly Army personnel." We also read that we established this information by "using high-technology methods to detect chemical traces that U.S. munitions leave behind . . . these being shells made of depleted uranium" which when passing through a target (human body) "leave a trace of radioactivity"! What kind of smart hardware do we use that allows almost one-fourth of our fatalities to be killed by their buddies?
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
February 18, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The U.S. Energy Department said Tuesday it had opened an investigation into a leak of radioactive materials at a nuclear burial site near Carlsbad, N.M. The department shut down normal operations last week at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant after radiation alarms sounded late Friday, when no one was in the underground facility. Officials at the site discounted any effect on human health, saying no radiation had escaped to the surface and no workers were exposed. So far, it is unknown what caused the release of radioactivity inside the repository, built in ancient salt beds 2,150 feet below the surface.
SCIENCE
January 16, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The canopies of kelp undulating in the surges off the coast of California camouflage a complex ecosystem of sharks, rock fish, crabs, urchins and anemones that blossom like colorful flowers on the forest floor. Now, Steven L. Manley, a biology professor at Cal State Long Beach, and Kai Vetter, head of applied nuclear physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have launched a campaign to monitor those groves for radioactive contaminants due to arrive later this year in ocean currents from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Radiation detected off the U.S. West Coast from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has declined since the 2011 tsunami disaster and never approached levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or wildlife, scientists say. Experts have been trying to dispel worries stemming from a burst of online videos and blog posts in recent months that contend radiation from Fukushima is contaminating beaches and seafood and harming sea...
WORLD
December 4, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - After a frantic search across a wide section of central Mexico, authorities said Wednesday that they had found a stolen truck that was transporting a large amount of dangerous radioactive material, a substance that can be used in making dirty bombs. The truck and its contents were found in the state of Mexico, about 20 miles north of the capital, not far from where they were stolen Monday. But the metal container with the radioactive material had been opened by the thieves, who then chucked it about half a mile from where they abandoned the truck, an official with the Mexican nuclear safety commission told The Times.
NATIONAL
November 30, 2013 | Ralph Vartabedian
On a wind-swept plateau, underground steel tanks that hold the nation's most deadly radioactive waste are slowly rotting. The soil deep under the desert brush is being fouled with plutonium, cesium and other material so toxic that it could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a nearby person in minutes. The aging tanks at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex contain 56 million gallons of sludge, the byproduct of several decades of nuclear weapons production, and they represent one of the nation's most treacherous environmental threats.
SCIENCE
May 28, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Science Now blog
Pacific bluefin tuna carried radioactivity from Japan's 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster all the way across the ocean to the shores of California, scientists reported Monday. They didn't bring much - the levels were far lower than, for instance, levels of naturally occurring potassium 40 that have existed in the ocean for centuries - but the radioactivity was enough to survive the fishes' migration east to North America from the Western Pacific, which they undertake when they're around a year old, said doctoral student Daniel Madigan, who studies the migration patterns of tuna at Stanford University.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
A toast to Imagine Dragons for snagging the award for alternative artist at the American Music Awards. The band's rendition of "Demons" at the annual show, best described as a combo dubstep-rock-Blue Man Group tribute, was truly alternative -- part Nickelback, part Vegas spectacle. The entertainment and the song suggested a brand of rebellion akin to ordering a McRib at McDonald's instead of a Big Mac. Their gig during Sunday night's broadcast of the worst music award ceremony of the year -- no small feat -- offered ample evidence.
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.
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