By CBSLA Staff

SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — The last Cold War-era building has finally come down in Simi Valley.

The U.S. Department of Energy says it has completed the safe demolition of the last of its Energy Technology Engineering Center, which had been part of cleanup activities at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

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The last building to be demolished was the Sodium Pump Test Facility, a nine-story industrial building used for testing large pumps for liquid sodium, officials said. The building, which went down on Oct. 1, was built in 1972 and had a red-and-white crane structure on its roof that could be seen from various places in Simi Valley.

A total of 18 federal buildings at the scene have been demolished in just over 15 months at the site since a 2020 agreement with the state of California. The DOE is now working to remove all building materials and waste from the site and dispose of them at a licensed facility outside the state, officials said.

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Josh Mengers, the federal project director of the Energy Technology Engineering Center, says the demolition of the last building is a significant step toward the DOE’s mission to clean up the former field laboratory site.

“Our highest priority is protecting human health and the environment to ensure the site remains safe for nearby communities,” Mengers said in a statement.

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The DOE conducted operations at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory from the 1950s to the late 1980s, while the Energy Technology Engineering Center used the site for liquid metals research. Research ended at the site in 2006, and since then has been the subject of scrutiny for environmental contamination.