REVISIT – Radiated Runkle Canyon

Every once in a while I’m going to repost certain topics that I feel are particularly fun, interesting or important for people to learn about. This topic is obviously the latter. I couldn’t find any real updates on the current status of the Runkle Canyon development, but when I do, you’ll know.
Original post: July 25, 2009

You’ve heard of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
Have you ever heard of Rocketdyne or Runkle Canyon? YouTube Preview Image

Frighteningly, very few people actually have… especially considering that in 1959, what is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in American history actually happened just 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, spreading up to 459 times the contamination of Three Mile Island across Simi Valley. (Note to self: *always* take a Silkwood shower after driving through Simi Valley.)

Shockingly, the scope of the partial meltdown at the Boeing-Rocketdyne sodium reactor was covered up. In September 2005, 100 local residents filed a class-action lawsuit amid fears of cancer and thyroid issues and were awarded $30 million in damages. It was only during this lawsuit four years ago – 45 years after the meltdown – that the extent of the radioactive iodine leak was confirmed. Meanwhile, land developers have been proposing to build 461 residences in the 1,500-acre contaminated canyon (including 138 units for senior citizens) to this day despite legitimate protests. YIKES.

Here is a timeline of the Rocketdyne events. A scary History Channel program about the incident featured after the jump.

YouTube Preview Image

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7 Responses to “REVISIT – Radiated Runkle Canyon”

  1. Some_Guy says:

    Makes perfect sense to put the seniors there.

    Radiation issues take years to manifest…beyond the life expectancy of them once they move in.

    Talk about a bargain!

    /in character

  2. Susan says:

    I know three people who live within 8 miles of there, and they’ve all been diagnosed with cancer. Is this just a coincidence?

  3. Susan says:

    Bell Canyon… How many residents have cancer?

  4. Pamela says:

    Growing up in the valley, as a kid, my mom would call us outside to watch the “rockets” go off..pretty cool stuff to a 5 year old. As an adult, it’s pretty damn scary to think of what was really going on there!

  5. Gregory Reid says:

    Very scary. We grew up within walking distance of Rocketdyne, swam in the creek they were dumping in…Dad died of a rare form of leukemia. Mom never healthy after we left the hill after being burned out in 1967.

  6. I lived in Simi Valley (6263 Nelda, 93063) from 1985-1995. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1981. Am I eligible to participate in a law suit?

    I can be reached at P.O. Box 2805 or 480-892-5380.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Rose D. Sigman

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