Letters to the Editor: Nuclear meltdown site as historical landmark? That’s not a bad idea

Santa Susana Field Laboratory
Radioactive hotspots remain at the closed-off Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Ventura County six decades after the first nuclear meltdown there.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I have been fortunate enough to visit the Santa Susana Field Laboratory many times over the last nine years as part of a team of volunteers performing an ecological survey in the area. (“NASA wants nuclear-contaminated Santa Susana site to be made a historic landmark,” Aug. 13)

The cleanup work has been continuous and I have seen many changes. The place is stunningly beautiful and should be a national park eventually. The wildlife we have been monitoring is thriving, which may indicate that the contamination is not bad enough to cause mutations.

No one would suggest that people should build houses, dig wells and live there, but it’s sad that people cannot even visit the site.

I hope the historic landmark designation is made, as the Santa Susana Field Laboratory is part of the Cold War‘s history.

Rose Leibowitz, Studio City



To the editor: It’s been 41 years since, as a film student at UCLA, I uncovered the meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Lab, and the federal government is still dragging its heels. The situation only gets more absurd.

It should be a historic landmark focused on the nuclear cowboys’ dangerous activities, the corporate cover-ups, the death toll, and the art of sowing division to fend off demands to do the right thing.

Michael Rose, Los Angeles