Friday, September 26, 2014


Another Santa Susana Field Lab Urban Legend

Sometime late last year, near the end of 2013, I wrote a post about the "melt-down" of the SRE (Sodium Reactor Experiment).  According to my interpretation of "melt-own" I stated that there had not been a melt-own at the reactor, not even a partial meltdown.  Anyway, my little article had no effect.  A court in California has recently ruled that there WAS a partial melt-down at the SRE in 1959.  I guess that settles the question, just as the Catholic Inquisition in the 1600's ruled that the earth did not move in spite of the false and sinful claims of Galileo.  Galileo was suitably punished by being forbidden to write and publish anything else.  I will therefore impose on myself Galileo's punishment and will henceforth have nothing to say about the alleged meltdown.

A few weeks ago, at a meeting sponsored and conducted by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) I heard another story.  According to the man sitting next to me, there had been at SSFL a reactor that went out of control.  A helicopter was brought in to lift it and carry it away.  It was buried at a remote site within SSFL and it's still glowing.  At night you can see the light from the glowing reactor lighting up the sky.

Recently I was on a tour of the site put on by the Boeing Corporation, the successor to Atomics International.  We were taken by bus to many interesting relics, such as a test stand for testing huge rocket engines.  The tour guide stated that there were many test stands, mostly for testing various sizes of rocket engine.  Now, an essential part of a rocket engine is the pump that pumps the liquid or liquefied fuel into the combustion chamber.  The pump temperature has to be limited.  To that end, the pump itself, a turbine turning a turbine, is operated with a fuel rich mixture.  The excess fuel is then burned off at a test stand used specifically for testing pumps.  At night the light of the burning fuel lights up the sky.

It lights up the sky and provides proof for the existence of the failed reactor that is still buried and glowing.  Perhaps some future court will decree that the pump test stand is actually a buried out-of-control nuclear reactor.
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