Nuclear research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies was conducted in Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory from 1954 to 1989. Restricted to the 290-acre Area IV in the northwest portion of Santa Susana, the work included developing and operating small research reactors, fabricating and disassembling nuclear fuel, and testing of large-scale liquid metal components such as pumps and heat exchangers.
Area IV, Fall 1985
Area IV, Spring 2005
Starting in the 1960s, facilities were closed and decommissioned as the government phased out research programs. The last reactor was shut down in 1980, and nuclear research ceased entirely in 1989. Since then work has focused on facility Decommissioning & Decontamination (D&D) and environmental remediation.
Working with the DOE and with oversight by federal and state agencies, Boeing is conducting cleanup of Area IV. This project is known as the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) Closure Project. The DOE hosts a web site describing its operations and environmental remediation in Area IV.
The DOE ETEC Web Site provides extensive information of the historical operations and past and current cleanup activities in Area IV. The links below provide the major sections of the web site. See the DOE ETEC Site Map for detailed content.
Decommissioning & Decontamination at Area IV is currently on hold pending completion of an Area IV-wide Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), to investigate the impact of remedial action alternatives of residual chemical and radiological contaminants. As part of the EIS, DOE is conducting chemical co-located sampling in Area IV. And has signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to perform a radiological survey and sampling of Area IV.