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NUCLEAR FEARS LA ‘at risk’ from toxic radioactive chemicals after it emerges devastating California wildfires started at site of nuclear disaster via The Sun

It has so far destroyed at least 370 homes and forced 170,000 people to evacuate around Los Angeles.

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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) had signed legally binding agreements to clean up the site by 2017 — but as of last month it had not begun the process.

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Contamination experts and campaigners have accused the DTSC of a cover-up after it was was quick to release a statement denying people are at risk.

Around 10 hours after the fire began on Thursday, DTSC said its scientists “do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.”

But Melissa Bumstead, whose daughter Grace, eight, has twice survived leukemia that she believes was caused by contamination from the lab, described the fire as her “worst fear realised”.

She told The Sun Online: “The area is contaminated with radioactive waste.

“Plutonium, Uranium, Cesium, Strontium on site, buried only a few feet underground with radiation that would give 9 out of 10 people cancer if they lived there.

“The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) told us repeatedly that we couldn’t be harmed by the radioactive and chemical contamination.

“Though we have proof that is has for years from ground water, rain runoff and wind.

“Contaminated ash can now reach us and communities hundreds of miles away.”

Melissa has started a petition to try and get authorities to learn up the area, which has so far garnered over 450,000 signatures.

Doctors have also warned that the fire – which destroyed the homes of dozens of celebrities including Robin Thicke, Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus – may have spewed dangerous chemicals into the air over Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Dr Bob Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, told The Sun Online: “The Woolsey Fire likely released and spread radiological and chemical contamination that was in SSFL’s soil and vegetation via smoke and ash.

“We know what substances are on the site and how hazardous they are.

“We’re talking about incredibly dangerous radionuclides and toxic chemicals such a trichloroethylene, perchlorate, dioxins and heavy metals.

“These toxic materials are in SSFL’s soil and vegetation, and when it burns and becomes airborne in smoke and ash, there is real possibility of heightened exposure for area residents.”

The lab was set up to test rocket engines for the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions — but became infamous for a series of toxic waste scandals.

In 1959 a sodium reactor had a partial nuclear meltdown just 1,000 yards from where Woolsey Fire appears to have begun.

And in 1994 a chemical blast at the site killed two scientists.

Federal agencies found the company running the lab, Rocketdyne, had been dumping and burning hazardous waste under the guise of fake experiments.

Locals began to notice the area was becoming a hotspot for chronic illnesses — and fears grew that contaminants from the site may have affected the surrounding towns.

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