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Silicon Valley Toxic Waste Sites Map

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Silicon Valley Composite image of GeoTracker map showing toxic waste sites. Geotracker uses Google images.

Apple is located on GE Intersil Superfund site that received radiological isotope Kr 85 from the DOE


“List of DOE Radioisotope Customers w/Summary of Radioisotope Shipments,FY85.”
D. A. Baker
08/31/1986
Prepared for the U. S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC06-76RLO 1830

Page 2.4 Item number 53.
G. E. Intersil Inc.
10710 North Tantau Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014


Given that the Superfund site is the G. E. Intersil site, this associates it with the San Jose G. E. nuclear reactor assembly plant where they were assembling portable nuclear reactors for the US Army, a project started in the mid 1950s when radiological contamination levels were very relaxed and when they were strengthened in 1959 to 1/3 of what they were before, so all of these reactors were too hot for safe use. The entire program was scrapped by 1965. But this program required a large amount of new electronics and this brought about the beginnings of Silicon Valley.

Unfortunately for the people of San Jose they were dumping waste directly into the sewer system using 1955 standards which are nuclear accidents today. That is the problem with nuclear radiation, the clean up standards of the past, including the most recent past have been less and less radiation so that a site cleaned up 25 years ago is an accident today!

These were portable nuclear reactors that you could put on a truck, a transport plane, a ship or a train and bring it to a military site that had a deep pool with all of the necessary hook ups to set up a nuclear reactor to power the base or for colleges and universities. These reactors had no meaningful shields and were a serious radiological hazard to modern specifications.

San Jose CA – GE Nuclear Fuel Processing Facility at The Plant Shopping Center

There were several other portable nuclear reactor plants in the Bay Area, two I featured in this article Two nuclear reactors sites, 369 Whisman Road Mountainview (now Google) and San Ramon CA where the EPA should also look into assessing the damage to the environment and the people who now live within range of those reactor sites. The 369 Whisman Road reactor site had a high curb surrounding the building to contain the radioactive waste!

The EPA has regulations on conducting radiological surveys for sites and basically everything within 200 feet of a site is considered on the site, that goes for chemical contamination as well as radiological. DTSC has interpreted this to mean the property lines of toxic waste sites but the EPA has different rules. Then there is the distance from the contamination to a quarter of a mile is considered a near neighbor and the distance from a quarter of a mile to a mile is also a near neighbor but with a different set of calculations. The danger is evaluated based on the population near a site so in the case of Apple, this could be a big problem for them. How many people work in their Wheel?

The Federal Law, 40 CFR Appendix A to Part 300 – The Hazard Ranking System which is used to determine if a site is subject to Superfund status, the range of contamination goes out to various distances from the exact contamination site.

It depends on what happened to the Kr 85 which is a Byproduct Material, meaning it came out of a nuclear reactor and cannot be dumped in low level radiation facilities but would have to be disposed of most likely in the Nevada Test Site.

In order to use an isotope like this, the facility would require a hot cell which is a device or room to store radiological isotopes usually with mechanical hands to remove the isotope from the container and use it in whatever industrial process GE was using at the time and the necessary Geiger counter device to measure the Beta radiation from this isotope. It has a half life of 10 years so its still hot. Some hot cells are portable and look like aquariums or those isolated rooms with hands you see in movies or TV shows.

I outline the distances using San Francisco as an example showing the ranges of contamination that can result from Chemical, Biological and Radiological contamination in this article:
“Downtown San Francisco within Contamination Range of Treasure Island Atomic, Biological and Chemical Warfare training sites”

If the radiation was used on a device that has since decomposed in the soil, then you have the larger ranges of water and air contamination that can go out 4 miles from the site.

The Question is, does the EPA know that the isotope was used on the site. Given the other sites in the Bay Area I would give my opinion as to say no, but this will have to be looked into.

If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had done its job, then there would be a set of inspections and a series of surveys to confirm the radiological isotopes were disposed of property and how they were used.




Two nuclear reactors sites, 369 Whisman Road Mountainview (now Google) and San Ramon CA

siteSUMMARY REPORT ON THE HAZARDS OF THE UTR TEST REACTOR
ATL Job 5164 ATL-D-619 7 June 1961
Page 46

SUMMARY REPORT ON THE HAZARDS
OF THE UTR TEST REACTOR
ATL Job 5164
ATL-D-619
7 June 1961

Google currently occupies the location where American Standard built portable nuclear reactors that were sent overseas in trade shows for the Atomic Energy Commission and for colleges and universities. The AEC shut down the facility because it was located in a densely populated area and given the accidents from these reactors and that the location had no shielding or even containment for the radioactive gasses and radioactive water, it was decided to pull the plug on the reactors. They had two reactors on site and built these reactors for other entities:

Iowa State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute / North Carolina State college
Australia (Atomic Energy Commission)
Japan (Kinki University) Osaka
Japan (Tokai University)

SUMMARY REPORT ON THE HAZARDS OF THE UTR TEST REACTOR
ATL Job 5164 ATL-D-619 7 June 1961
Page 27

From the report page 6:

“B. Reactor Building
The reactor will be housed in an existing 20′ x 32′ x 14′ eave height steel frame
reactor building. The building is supported on a reinforced concrete foundation and has corrugated steel walls and roof and a concrete floor sealed with Amercoat. A concrete curb around the base of the building will prevent run off of radioactive water. Gas-tight construction has not been provided. Entry to the building is provided by two sliding doors, which may be locked with a padlock. A stairway provides access to the top of the reactor. A one-ton electric hoist is available for removing the concrete closures from the reactor”

Note the curb around the building to prevent run off of radioactive water and the padlock on the door for security. Remember this is for two nuclear reactors.

These are the concentric circles that the Atomic Energy Commission requires for safety. If there was an accident everyone within range would have to be permanently evacuated. page 44

This reactor type was based on the Argonne reactor which had some serious defects causing a melt down.

Ruzich, K. C.., Sturm, W. J.. Hazard Summary Report for the Argonne AGN-201 Reactor. United States: Argonne National Laboratory, 1962.
Continue reading “Two nuclear reactors sites, 369 Whisman Road Mountainview (now Google) and San Ramon CA”

Treasure Island Hunters Point Shipyard ranked 25 worst site by the EPA

This is the original National Priorities list ranked by worst to first in classes. Treasure Island Hunters Point Annex is ranked in the 5th class, 25 on this list of names of sites. Note equal to the Savannah River Plant that has to this day, radioactive waste in barrels on the site. It is also worse than a Hanford site.

Fact Book: National Priorities List Under the Original Hazard Ranking System, 1981-1991, United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. Washington, DC: Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993. pp. 49-51
Continue reading “Treasure Island Hunters Point Shipyard ranked 25 worst site by the EPA”

GOOGLE – 1400 NORTH SHORELINE BOULEVARD (T10000006049)

Microsoft Word – Memo_WhiteStripes_sanitary_sewer p 12



Microsoft Word – Memo_WhiteStripes_sanitary_sewer p 10
Microsoft Word – Memo_WhiteStripes_sanitary_sewer p 11

The project is a redevelopment property within the Teledyne-Spectraphysics (T-S) plume with underlying groundwater probably impacted by the upgradient T-S source properties. The developer plans to construct the building wiht a vapor intrusion mitigation system (VIMS) and water barrier. Indoor air testing will be conducted to verify that the VIMS is working as designed.

Envirostor (State of California)

Geotracker Map

Google Map

POTENTIAL CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN

DICHLOROETHENE (DCE), TRICHLOROETHYLENE (TCE), VINYL CHLORIDE 

 

5th. Report, INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Vessels from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard begun 5 September 1946.

Citation: OPERATION CROSSROADS, RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON- TARGET VESSELS Part 2 pp. 22-32

FIFTH REPORT.
5th. Report, INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Vessels from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard begun 5 September 1946.

Progress and further developments In the experiments described in previous reports:

Flashing (with fresh water) of the Firemain section on the LAFFEY which had been treated with pH 6 solution continued through the night of 17 September and was secured early in the morning of the 16th. The blanked off ends were opened up and drippings were collected and put in an add barrel. Photographs were taken of the end sections of the piping, showing the work of the solution in removing marine growth. The results can be summed up by saying that the pH 6 solution was not particularly effective ta removing marine growth, although it is estimated that 90% of the radioactivity was removed.

The second phase of acid circulation in the Firemain forward on the LAFFEY was stepped at 0205 Wednesday, 18 September. Flushing was begun at 0215 and at 0300 the line, contain lug-fresh water, was secured. Samples of acid concentration were taken at intervals and a small reduction at .30 occurred. (1.08 to .79) It is estimated that the acid treatment removed 100% of marine growth and scale, and reduced radioactivity about 98%. Precise figures on the decrease in radioactivity of the acid solution between the first phase and the second phase as well as the monitoring of the piping after the decontaminating solution had been removed are contained in a report by the monitor, Dr. Chadbourn, to Capt. Walsh (MC) who is in charge of the experiments. Continue reading “5th. Report, INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Vessels from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard begun 5 September 1946.”

1946-09-18 4th Report INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY Of Vessels from Bikini At the San Francisco Naval Shipyard Begun on 5 September 1946

Citation: OPERATION CROSSROADS, RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON- TARGET VESSELS Part 2 pp. 20-21

4th Report

18 September 1946

INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY Of Vessels from Bikini At the San Francisco Naval Shipyard
Begun on 5 September 1946

Yesterday morning aboard the LAFFEY one experiment in decontaminating salt water piping was concluded and another begun.  The experiment just concluded awaits laboratory testing before any results are known.

The section of Firemain which had been pumped full of pH 6.0 solution (Acetic Acid and Ammonium Hydroxide) on Saturday, 14 September at 1100, was blown out at 1100 yesterday. An air hose was attached to one end of the Firemain and a hose led from the other end to a steel barrel up on the main deck, and the Firemain was blown clear. The contents of the barrel were monitored and showed radioactive emission as heavy as had previously been found in the Firemain on Saturday (.010) which would appear to indicate that the decontaminating solution had brought a considerable portion of the radioactive particles out with it. The barrel of radioactive solution was hoisted overboard, using a quaywall crane, onto a truck and when taken to the Industrial laboratory to be held there until arrangements are made for disposal. One quart of the solution was taken by Dr. Scott for a laboratory assay. After the Firemain had been blown clear of the solution, the air service was disconnected and a fresh water hose connected to the Firemain. The hose at the outlet end was led to a second barrel for examination of the first amount of flushing water. This water was found to be practically free of emission, so on the advice of Dr. Scott the discharge hose was led into the bay and flushing operations were scheduled to continue overnight. The flushing operation was begun at 1330. The leading man of X-56 who was holding the hose in the barrel when the radioactive solution was being blown from the firemain received spray and some of the liquid on his bare hands. He was advised to wash it off immediately. Continue reading “1946-09-18 4th Report INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY Of Vessels from Bikini At the San Francisco Naval Shipyard Begun on 5 September 1946”

1946-09-16 SECOND REPORT INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Ships from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard

Citation: OPERATION CROSSROADS, RADIOLOGICAL DECONTAMINATION OF TARGET AND NON- TARGET VESSELS Part 2 pp. 13-18

[Page 13] 
COMMANDER’S OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD
SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
11 September 1946

NAVAL SHIPYARD NOTICE No, 244-46

Sub: Vessels Arriving from Bikini – Instructions Governing Special Tests.
1.            The following instructions will govern relative to the special teats to be conducted by the San Francisco Naval Shipyard on ships employed in the Bikini operation:
A. Planning

1. Procure funds and originate Job Orders.
2. Follow up work procedures developed, smoothing same out, and put into such form as may be promulgated to other activities.
3. Compile all data necessary for the development of such reports as may be required from time to time.

B. Production

1. Develop work procedures in accordance with existing and subsequent instructions.2. See to it that ships have radiological, clearance when they enter yard.

C. Industrial Relations
1. In consultation With Production, disseminate instructions relative to safety precautions.

J. W. FOWLER
Commodore, USN
Commander

DJBT: CO, OH, OF, CF

SECRET

Page 13
[Page 14 posted]

REPORT NO. 2
EXPERIMENTAL WORK, SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.

SECOND REPORT 16 September 1946 – INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Ships from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard starting 5 September 1946. Continue reading “1946-09-16 SECOND REPORT INVESTIGATION OF RADIOACTIVITY of Ships from Bikini at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard”

The Berkeley Blast – 500 tons of Dynamite that blasted out the glass of San Francisco 8 miles away

“A witness near the California Powder Works reported seeing a huge column of white smoke shoot hundreds of feet into the sky seconds before he was knocked down and rendered senseless for several minutes.”

The disaster in Beirut was only a few days ago.

1869 Alfred Noble patented his invention Dynamite which is a safe method of using Nitroglycerin which had an unfortunate tendency to explode when subjected to a large shock. Dynamite made it relatively safe. The California Powerworks had the patent and started manufacturing Dynamite in Santa Cruz and in San Francisco on or near what became Golden Gate Park. There was another plant called the Hercules plant (Hercules in Greek Lore killed Giants) and so they operated facilities near each other which had a tendency to explode.

Explosions were common in munitions plants and after the second blast in San Francisco on or near Golden Gate Park that blew out the glass from downtown San Francisco to Cliff House, the city fathers decided that instead of replacing the glass in the buildings of San Francisco every time one of these things lit up, they would send the plants to Berkeley across the Bay to what is now Albany California at the Polo Grounds. The plant blew up three times and rebuilt each time until the big blast.

The following is the official record of the incident. Holden, Edward S. “Powder Explosion at West Berkeley, July 9, 1892.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 4, no. 25 (1892): 187-90. Accessed August 8, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40667068.

“”The Giant Powder Works plant, near West Berkeley, a suburban place on the northeastern coast of the bay, about eight miles from San Francisco, was blown up at nine o’clock A. M. on the ninth of July, and it is believed to be the most extensive explosion of the kind that has ever happened. Being situated on a spit of land projecting out into the bay there was a free course for air disturbance to the city, and other surroundings on the southern and western side of the bay, and windows were crushed for a distance of ten miles where no elevated land intervened.
The air disturbance followed channels where the physical formation permitted horizontal flow, and even streets in the city seemed to have guided the lines of greatest effect. Continue reading “The Berkeley Blast – 500 tons of Dynamite that blasted out the glass of San Francisco 8 miles away”

Benicia CA – TOURTELOT PROPERTY (48970005) Housing on unexploded shells on Gunnery range

What happens when you build a housing development and then 6 years later you find unexploded artillery shells on the property? Perhaps it might have been a clue that the property was once called the Benicia Arsenal and that during World War II it was an artillery range?

Site History

Prior to 1990, the Tourtelot Property consisted of approximately 220 acres of undeveloped grassland situated in the northwest corner of the former Benicia Arsenal. The Army leased the Tourtelot Property from 1944 to 1960 for artillery testing, ordnance and explosives (OE) demilitarization, and demolition of damaged and obsolete munitions. In 1990, Granite Management Corporation (Granite) began grading the site for home construction. In 1996, Granite found concrete-filled howitzer shells and live ordnance on the site. Granite then retained the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to characterize the site for OE and chemical impacts to soil and groundwater. Contaminants on the Tourtelot Property included: petroleum hydrocarbons; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; dioxins/furans (combustion by-products); volatile organic compounds; trinitrotoluene; and OE. Continue reading “Benicia CA – TOURTELOT PROPERTY (48970005) Housing on unexploded shells on Gunnery range”