Dr. Dodge holds community forum Feb. 12 on Santa Susana Field Lab contamination

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Dr. Robert Dodge of Ojai will participate in a a virtual community forum Feb. 12 about the ongoing battle to clean up the Santa Susana Field Laboratory on the outskirts of Simi Valley.

There was a partial nuclear meltdown at the site in 1959.

To participate in the Feb. 12 online forum, from 7 to 9 p.m., register at:

Dodge, Melissa Burnstead of Parents vs. Santa Susana Field Lab, and Denise Duffield of Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA — will discuss their work.

The online forum is organized by Chalice Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Conejo Valley Community Forum program, according to its website at:

The three activists are featured in a a recent documentary, “In the Dark of the Valley,"  about the continuing danger from the radioactive fallout. It can be viewed at:

The documentary tells the story of a partial meltdown of a sodium reactor at the Santa Susana Field Lab. Some consider the leak to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history, citing studies that indicate the radiation released at the Field Lab was 260 times greater than the radiation released at the site of the infamous partial meltdown at a nuclear plant at Three Mile Island near Middletown, Pennsylvania, in 1979.

The Santa Susana Field Lab meltdown was concealed from the public for 20 years before being uncovered by university students and the fight over the cleanup of the site continues to this day.

Dodge is president of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles and serves as co-chair of the Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons of PSR. PSR is the U.S. affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. 

Duffield directs the nuclear threats program for PSR-LA and leads the organization's effort to ensure a full cleanup of the contaminated site.

Bumstead describes becoming an “accidental activist” after her 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia in 2014. Bumstead met other families at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles whose children also had rare cancers and learned they all lived within miles of the Santa Susana Field Lab.

Bumstead began a petition that now has more than 740,000 signatures demanding cleanup of the site. 




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