Canoga Ave Facility


In addition to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory which is the focus of this web site, radiological operations were also conducted in the Vanowen Building of the Canoga Avenue Facility from December 1955 through late 1959.  The Vanowen Building was the first headquarters of Atomics International (AI).

In late 1955, AI was formed as a division of North American Aviation.  AI performed R&D into the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  Between 1956 and 1960, this work was performed at the Vanowen Building at the Atomics International (now Rocketdyne) facility on Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, CA .  Principal work performed at the Vanowen facility included design, development and operation of small, aqueous, 93% enriched uranyl sulfate, reactors, named L-47 and L-77; reactor design, fuel development for the SNAP program, and radiochemistry.

In 1960, AI moved to its new facility on De Soto Ave. in Canoga Park, and all radiological activities were transferred to De Soto.  The following link provides a summary of operations, radiological building surveys, environmental surveys, and Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission license termination correspondence.

The following are Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission license termination correspondence.

Nuclear operations at the Vanowen facility were licensed and inspected by the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Atomic Energy Commission terminated the licenses for Vanowen operations when operations ceased in 1960.

Facility surveys by Atomics International and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have confirmed that no residual radioactivity remained in the Vanowen building.

Environmental surveys of soil and vegetation have confirmed that no environmental radioactive contamination occurred due to Vanowen operations.

Groundwater monitoring by an independent company has confirmed that groundwater has not been radioactively contaminated due to Vanowen operations.

In 1996, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that the reactor operating licenses for L-44 and L-77 were appropriately terminated by the Atomic Energy Commission, and that no further action is required.

In 2005-06, the Vanowen Building was demolished.