In 1979, the year of Three Mile Island, I exposed another nuclear accident—another partial meltdown—in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It occurred at the Santa Susana Field Lab, a reactor and rocket-testing facility in the mountains between the San Fernando and Simi Valleys.
Back then, the story was both news and history. The Field Lab opened in 1947, at the onset of the Cold War, and the reactor accident happened in 1959. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and a nuclear contractor kept it secret for 20 years, but there was no denying the evidence we revealed on local TV, discovered in AEC archives by the watchdog group Committee to Bridge the Gap.
Today, that accident is still news ...