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Nuclear Meltdown

Essay by   •  March 15, 2011  •  706 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,137 Views

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Nuclear Meltdown

Throughout human history, there have been and continues to be scandals and cover-ups made by the government and city officials to save their own behinds. Where have all the honest people gone? No matter what the case maybe, money and a good reputation seem to prevail over the cost innocent lives. In 1959, Rocketdyne, a rocket-testing company in the Santa Susana Hills of Simi Valley had a meltdown. Although Rocketdyne representatives deny that the incident caused any type of harm, the truth is, the meltdown contaminated the area and is responsible for hundreds of cancers and health illnesses.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory, also known as Rocketdyne, was built in 1984 by North American Aviation consisting of 2,850 acres in Eastern Ventura County. Over the years, it has been used as a test site for experiments involving nuclear reactors, high-powered lasers, and rockets. In the 1959 meltdown, "an estimated 13,000 curies of iodine-131 and 2,600 curies of cesium-137 escaped fro the reactor" (Rutshman). Iodine-131 is a radioactive form of iodine and is produced in nuclear reactors when uranium is split. This form of iodine is very radioactive and very dangerous. Once this chemical is entered into the body, the radiation damages the thyroid, increasing the risk of cancer at a very high rate. Although radioactivity can only live for eight days, it is enough time to get into the local water supply and dairy cows. Therefore contaminating the water and milk supply. It's entirely possible that the reported 260 cancers were most likely caused by the release of radioactive materials.

Just as a restaurant would like to hide any accidents that take place in its kitchen, Rocketdyne tried to cover-up the meltdown as being nothing more than a "small" incident or boo-boo it had made. For almost forty-five years, the public accepted the false theory that no one was harmed by the nuclear meltdown. Boeing, a main representative for Rocketdynes parent company stated, "there's no scientific evidence of a public health threat as a result of operations at Rocketdyne" (Vanderbilt). By stating this, Boeing referred to the meltdown as being nonchalant and irrelevant. For the security of his own company, he denies all evidence and research done on the matter. How can, what is known to be the incident which released the third greatest amount of radioactive iodine in nuclear history (the first being Chernobyl), not be a possible hazard to people living in the area and surrounding areas? The cleanup of the contaminated facilities found high levels of radioactive tritium in the ground water. Cleanup still continues to this day.

It's effortless to see Rocketdyne tries to conceal the effects of the meltdown

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