An improvised cleanup
It’s also true, Pace said of a story that seems more lore than fact, that women’s sanitary napkins were used to wipe down contaminated surfaces with cleansers gathered from around the 2,850-acre Field Laboratory after the meltdown. The absorbent material was more effective and longer lasting than sponges. A secretary suggested using them, he said.
“It was brilliant,” Pace said. “When we were done we’d throw it in a plastic bag and throw it out back.”
It’s likewise true, Pace said, that radioactive gases were released. The night of the surge, the men — dressed in nothing more protective than cotton coveralls — worried about venting “hot” gases into the air.
“The big thing on their mind was which way the wind was blowing,” Pace said. “They released that (gas) and it went out over the San Fernando Valley where all their children and families were, and they couldn’t say a thing about it because it was top secret.”