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This Week’s SPECIAL Interview:
Woolsey Fire radioactive releases revealed: In 2018, the massive Woolsey Fire started at the Santa Susana Field Lab – a nuclear radiation- and rocket fuel-contaminated former Rocketdyne site, located in the hills of Simi Valley only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It burned through contaminated brush and debris, releasing smoke and ash suspected of containing radiation into the environment. The California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) hastily issued reassurances only nine hours after the fire started and as it still burned, “assuring” the public that no radioactive materials had been released by the fire and nothing above normal background levels was found. Local citizens were not convinced and took action to get the area tested.
Now, three years later, a just-released peer-reviewed scientific study of dirt, dust and ash samples taken within a 10 mile radius of the Woolsey fire has revealed a very different picture of what happened. The study – Radioactive microparticles related to the Woolsey Fire in Simi Valley, CA, published by the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity – was based on 360 samples of ash, dirt and dust taken in the immediate aftermath of the fire. Research and testing was conducted by the three individuals we interviewed for today’s show:
- Dr. Marco Kaltofen of Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an environmental scientist with 30 years experience in environmental, workplace, and product safety investigations. Dr. Kaltofen’s nuclear forensics work includes experience in the US, the Middle East, Russia, India, Japan, and European Union countries.
- Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer, licensed nuclear reactor operator, and expert witness, as well as the chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates
- Maggie Gundersen is a journalist, paralegal, and former atomic power industry spokesperson who serves as president of Fairewinds Energy Education, as well as a member of their Board of Directors.