The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a state agency a $5.6 million grant for overseeing the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory's old Energy Technology Engineering Center.
The government-run site in the hills west of Chatsworth, which operated from 1966 to 1998, was where liquid metals, such as metallic sodium, were tested for their effectiveness in transferring heat from a nuclear reactor. As as result, the site contains low- level radioactive waste, traces of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.
The grant to the California Department of Toxic Substance Control includes five, one-year performance periods, according to the DOE. Under the terms of the cleanup operation, the DOE must comply with a 2007 consent decree with the state regarding ground water and a 2010 administrative order regarding soil cleanup.
Since the mid-1990s, the government has been cleaning up the larger, 2,850-acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory site, which contains the old Energy Technology Engineering Center.