Nuclear Reactors in Space and the California Nuclear Disaster of 1959

Santa Susana Nuclear Disaster America’s China Syndrome, nuclear cloud spread over Simi and San Fernando Valleys

With the recent press about placing a nuclear reactor on the moon, the environmentalists are reacting to this as if it was a new thing. Neil Armstrong armed a nuclear reactor on the Moon during the Apollo 11 landing which is still in operation on the moon. It is used as a measuring device to measure the distance from the earth to the moon and thus help in navigating in space.

Boeing and Atomics International developed the SNAP reactors at Santa Susana which is in the hills just south of Simi Valley. One of the reactors melted down in 1959 causing the largest and most deadly nuclear accident in US history if you don’t count the nuclear tests. Here is a documentary explaining what happened when the nuclear reactor, the salt cooled reactor melted down and exploded causing a radioactive cloud to encompass Simi Valley and across San Fernando Valley. There was no containment, no shielding.

Also they burned radioactive waste so that it would be dispersed on the wind because the red tape made it “impractical” to bury it properly in disposal sites. Note that again this smoke was deposited over Simi and San Fernando Valleys.

4 reactors blew up over the course of many years of the SNAP reactor project. The reactors were being developed for spacecraft and airplanes. The airplane engine program was halted when the military decided it was a bad idea because if a plane crashes, we would have just given the enemy a working nuclear reactor.

Reactors for Space

“NUCLEAR SPACE POWER SYSTEMS,” H. M. DIECKAMP Vice President, Engineering; ATOMICS INTERNATIONAL A Division of North American Aviation, Inc. P. 0. Box 309 Conoga Park, California ISSUED: SEPTEMBER 1967 p 223

Film: First Nuclear Reactor In Space 71502
From Internet Archive:
“Made in 1965 by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, this rare film discusses the design of SNAP-10A, an experimental nuclear reactor launched into space in 1965. The Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power Program (SNAP) reactor was developed under the SNAPSHOT program overseen by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

SNAP-10A was launched from Vandenberg AFB by an ATLAS Agena D rocket on April 3, 1965 into a polar low Earth orbit altitude of approx. 1,300 km. Its nuclear electrical source, made up of thermoelectric elements, was intended to produce over 500 watts of electrical power for one year. After 43 days, an onboard voltage regulator within the spacecraft — unrelated to the SNAP reactor — failed, causing the reactor core to be shut down, after reaching a maximum output of 590 watts. The reactor was left in a 700-nautical-mile (1,300 km) earth orbit for an expected duration of 4,000 years. In November 1979 the vehicle began shedding, eventually losing 50 pieces of traceable debris. The reasons were unknown, but the cause could have been a collision. Although the main body remains in place, radioactive material may have been released. ”

The following is from “NUCLEAR SPACE POWER SYSTEMS,” H. M. DIECKAMP Vice President, Engineering; ATOMICS INTERNATIONAL A Division of North American Aviation, Inc. P. 0. Box 309 Conoga Park, California ISSUED: SEPTEMBER 1967

“The first nuclear power system in space was SNAP 3B, a 2.7-watt radioisotope unit fueled by Pu [Plutonium], which was launched in June 1961. The first reactor power system in space was SNAP 10A, a 500-watt unit, which was launched m April 1965. To date, five radioisotope units with power levels up to 25 watts and one 500-watt reactor unit have been used in the U. S. Space Program.” page 19

Page 378 the SNAP 3B Generator

SNAP 10A Nuclear Reactor launched in 1965

SNAP 10A Nuclear reactor was launched into Space in 1965

SNAP 27 Nuclear Reactor for NASA’s Apollo Missions

Re-entry vehicle for nuclear fuels

NASA planned on regular missions to fuel a space station where they would send nuclear fuel up to orbit and back down again. This involved creating a device that could land and safely return the fuel elements of a reactor without breaking. This led to the creation of the Space Shuttle. The question is how much nuclear materials were on the Space Shuttles that crashed to the earth and should the local populations of the crash sites be concerned?

Concept drawing for a device to return nuclear fuel back to earth safely by gliding it in just like what would eventually be the Space Shuttle.

Diagram of a Plutonium powered heat source for a capsule that returns to earth.


Toxic Waste sites in San Francisco

I posted this 5 hour ago and then I just noticed it was gone. What the hell WordPress? We are back again.

Composite image of GeoTracker map showing toxic waste sites. Geotracker uses Google images. Click on the image to go to Flickr

san francisco

Burbank CA Nuclear Accident January 18 1968 Placing a Demon Core on a Lathe

US. Nuclear Corporation in Burbank California had a problem, without any authorization they decided to try to remove the outer casing of a Plutonium Beryllium device that produced Neutrons, a DEMON CORE that was used for training in the US Navy for sailors to train to find atomic bombs and this training was on every ship and base including at Treasure Island.

They placed the core onto a Lathe which is used to spin wood or metal to make rounded cuts into objects, just as if you were to make a staircase knob, you cut into it as it spins to make rounded objects. So naturally they decided to do this with the most dangerous thing in the world a Demon Core of Plutonium and Beryllium.

When the Atomic Energy Commission was tipped off about this incident by an anonymous source they came into the facility where the US Nuclear Corporation employees had just bought an industrial vacuum cleaner to clean up the site. They also failed to mention the accident to the AEC as required by law (see below)

Yeah that would not cut it.

Range of possible Plutonium Contamination from the Burbank Nuclear Disaster January 18, 1968

The Demon Core was made popular in the movie “Fat Man and Little Boy” which combined two separate incidents where the scientists at Los Alamos were showing off and caused fission to take place killing in each case the show off scientist. It should be noted that spinning plutonium at high speed is not something that you want to do.

The Pu-Be core was made with pellets of Plutonium and the Berylium reflects the neutrons so you can create measured levels of neutron radiation, the radiation of fission found in nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. The US Navy Radiological Defense Lab had two of these devices as of 1960 which were about the size of a casing for a old movie projector and they used it to bombard ships with it to see how far into a ship the neutron radiation would penetrate, in order to make ships safer. When they turned it on they made sure everyone was in a separate building in shielding to protect themselves from the radiation. Not the public, just them. It is the same radiation found in a nuclear power plant or a nuclear detonation.

US Nuclear Corporation decided all on their own without any authorization to divide up the Plutonium into smaller amounts to make more devices.

Continue reading “Burbank CA Nuclear Accident January 18 1968 Placing a Demon Core on a Lathe”

Palo Alto Nuclear Reactor at Baylands Nature Preserve Trailhead and the Dover Nuclear Disaster

On the left is a nuclear reactor core, on the right is the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve Trailhead

On the left is a nuclear reactor core, on the right is the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve Trailhead. This company would have a nuclear disaster in a sister plant in New Jersey which resulted in the closure of all of their plants nationwide due to mismanagement.

Google Map

International Nutronics Inc ran the Palo Alto reactor also had a reactor in Dover New Jersey (below) that had a serious nuclear accident which the company did not report to the NRC and this resulted in the closure of this reactor in Palo Alto. The company started off at 200 Third St. Los Altos but they had three reactor sites, one in Irvine and this one and the Dover New Jersey plant and a sewage Treatment plant in Menlo Park where they irradiated sewage to kill bacteria.

The Palo Alto facility had 750,000 Curies of C0-60 source and was used to irradiate food to kill bacteria and for cleaning medical equipment. Basically they would place these things in containers over the reactor and open it up to be irradiated.

“The potential personnel radiation exposure hazard posed by the sources at large irradiators is substantial. For example, the unshielded dose from a 250,000 Ci Co-60 source is approximately 250,000 rem/hr (69 rem/sec) at 4 feet and approximately 25,000 rem/hr (6.9 rem/sec) at 13 feet. Therefore, a lethal dose could be received within minutes.” – Review of Events at Large Pool-Type Irradiators, E.A. Trager, Jr., Division of Safety Programs Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC 20555 March 1989

Continue reading “Palo Alto Nuclear Reactor at Baylands Nature Preserve Trailhead and the Dover Nuclear Disaster”

Why is it snowing inside the Nuclear Power Plant?

Oh By the Way – Nuclear Reactor Accidents

Surry 2 Nuclear Power Plant Virginia 12/9/86

Summary of Incident: Forty seconds after a reactor trip, a main feed water elbow ruptured, releasing steam and water into the turbine building. This water shorted out the security card readers for all the plant and entered a fire protection control panel through an open conduit, shorting several circuits and actuating 62 sprinkler heads. The sprinkler water leaked into the control panels to the Cable Tray Rooms CO2 suppression system and for the Emergency Switchgear Rooms Halon suppression systems, shorting control circuits and actuating the CO2 and Halon systems. The main CO2 supply tank was emptied, CO2 and Halon leaked into the control room, and a worker was momentarily trapped between the C02, the Halon, and an inoperable security door. CO2 generated 2 feet of snow in the cable room.” page A.1-29

Evaluation of Generic Issue 57:
Effects of Fire Protection
System Actuation on
Safety-Related Equipment

Note: “Scram” or “Trip” means a shut down of the reactor.

When the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit, the nuclear industry in the Bay Area had a sudden crisis, an Oh Sh1t crisis! The automatic fire prevention sprinkler systems failed on 80 nuclear sites regulated by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) causing electrical shorts in the instrumentation because the Nuclear Industry was not waterproof until after the Earthquake.

This article includes some of the 140 accidents from 1980 to 1989 that were reported in “a round about way” instead of the official channels.

“Nuclear Power is Safe” According to the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and in order to maintain that safety record accident reports were discouraged especially ones where its snowing in the Cable Room of a Nuclear Power plant!

At Treasure Island the Navy flat out denied that there was any radiation on the island. Northing was buried in the ground and yet they were digging up radioactive materials out of the ground. But the official reports denied it 1994 Baseline Survey Report.

Instead accidents were reported to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safeguards (ACRS) in correspondence on other topics beginning with the words “Oh by the way, this happened . . .

Ginna New York 11/14/81

Summary of Incident: During a test on satellite station “A”, workers  inadvertently activated the control circuits to the water spray solenoid valve actuators, actuating the sprinkler systems in several plant areas. Some water entered the control rod drive switchgear cabinet, causing two control rods to be misaligned to the fully withdrawn position. The water also tripped one Reactor Protection System motor generator set. Operators manually tripped the reactor.

Continue reading “Why is it snowing inside the Nuclear Power Plant?”

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”


These are the people I am fighting for to publish the Navy reports on my Treasure Island website and on this Disaster Area website documenting the Navy’s contamination of Hunters Point shipyard by the US Navy’s Radiological Defense Laboratory based at Hunters Point and at Treasure Island, the Navy’s Atomic, Biological and Chemical Warfare Training Center.

And if you want a sample of the Navy’s own sources, of what they dumped and polluted at Hunters Point Shipyard, here is their Health and Safety report from 1960 documenting the exposures by building number and listing the radiological accidents just for 1960
U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory., Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. (1961). Radiological safety at USNRDL: annual progress report health physics division ; 1 January to 31 December 1960. San Francisco, California: U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. Note: This text is searchable on that website

Procedures for Decontamination of Plutonium From Various Surfaces, Skin

Christensen, E. L, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Procedures for Decontamination of Plutonium From Various Surfaces. Los Alamos, N.M.: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the University of California, 1959. pp 19-21


Aluminum, Brass, Concrete, Glass, Iron and Mild Steel, Lucite, Plexiglass and Other Acrylic Plastics, Monel, Paint, Plastics Other Than Acryiic Based Plastics, Porcelain, Rubber, Skin, Stainless Steel and Tile.


Immediate use of a synthetic detergent-sequestrant mixture has been reported to give better decontamination than if the use of the mixture is preceded by soap and water wash. However, no temperature was given for the water used and if the water was warm enough to cause the pores to open, the decontamination solution, normally used cold, would have a difficult time removing the activity. At Los Alamos steps


one and two of the recommended procedure normally give sufficient decontamination.

For decontamination of hair, omit the KMnO4 treatment.

A. Recommended procedure.

1. Lather with liquid soap, using cold water, rinse thoroughly.
2. If count still remains, wash with synthetic detergent and sequestrant in a ratio of 1:2. Rinse with water.

a. Sequestrants such as:

  1. Na EDTA-
  2. Citric acid
  3. Sodium citrate
  4. Sodium tartrate
  5. Sodium phosphates
    1. b. Do not use oxalates!

C.P. Cleaner, manufactured by Finley Products, Inc., is also satisfactory. Apply as label directs.

3. If count still remains, scrub with KMnO4 crystals wet with just enough water to make thick paste. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat 5 times. Remove color with a 4% NaHSO3 solution. (Use only as a last resort.)

4. Apply TiO2 paste and rub thoroughly. Remove by swabbing. Rinse thoroughly with water.

B. Decontamination solutions in order of decreasing effectiveness.

1. TiO2 paste (expensive)
2. KMnO4 paste; color removed with 4% NaHSO3


3. Synthetic detergent – sequestrant
4. C.P. Cleaner or similar hand cleaner
5. 3% trisodium nitrolotriacetate – synthetic detergent
6. 3% Na citrate, ph 7.0
7. 3% Na acetate, ph 2.0
8. 3% Na tartrate, ph 7.0
9. 3% Na lactate, ph 7.0
10. 3% glycine
11. 3% Na acetate, ph 7.0
12. Water with liquid soap
13. Isotonic saline solution

1946 Nuclear radiation exposure requiring hospitalization of the crew of the USS Bayfield at Puget Sound Naval Base Bremerton Washington

Title: USS Bayfield
Description: (APA-33) At Charleston, South Carolina, on 4 January 1950. She is proceeding to Pier D-5 at the Charleston Naval Shipyard to embark troops of the Third Division, from Fort Benning, Georgia, to participate in Operation Protrex. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.
Catalog #: NH 99242


San Francisco 24, Calif.
26 September 1946

Rear Admiral T. A. Solberg,
Code 180, Bureau of Ships
Navy Department,
Washington. D. C.

Dear Admiral Solberg:

Speedletter serial 1381 of 24 September was received, and all concerned here were highly pleased with its contents.

My trip to Seattle was most beneficial, as I was able to clear up many points. Upon my arrival aboard the USS BAYFIELD, I encountered trouble trying to inspect the evaporators. The evaporator room was locked under orders were issued to the effect that no one was permitted to enter. It seems that Lieutenant Shallow (monitor) issued instructions that the evaporator room was contaminated. The reason for his action was made upon arrival aboard the BAYFIELD, two tube nests were removed from the shelves and the crew had mechanically cleaned them. Continue reading “1946 Nuclear radiation exposure requiring hospitalization of the crew of the USS Bayfield at Puget Sound Naval Base Bremerton Washington”

1946-09-16 Submarine Barracks at Hunters Point Shipyard contaminated by use as decontamination centers for workers at Shipyard to clean ships used in atomic tests.


Navy Reports that document the dumping of nuclear waste directly into San Francisco Bay as well as other Navy Bases, the orders, correspondence, etc.

[Submarine Barracks at Hunters Point Shipyard now used as commercial space and was the ironically the site office of Lennar Builders were used for decontamination of shipyard workers who scraped and sandblasted the ships from the Atomic Tests. These buildings were used by the workers to clean off by showering off the plutonium and other radioactive elements and may be some of the most contaminated buildings on the site. The Hot Cell where they stored nuclear materials in lead lined chambers and maybe the storage of radioactive waste all over the shipyard may have more contamination. These are also where the workers ate their lunches while in contaminated uniforms.

Building 103 which still stands and is directly over the fence from the Artists buildings is referenced directly in this report but the decontamination centers soon expanded to all of the submarine barracks as the ranks of the personnel increased.]

Google Map




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 Submarine Barracks at Hunters Point Shipyard contaminated by use as decontamination centers for workers at Shipyard to clean ships used in atomic tests.”