2012 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <LSiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 21:11:45 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] RADIATION, BERYLLIUM: "The Secret of Rocky Flats" (CO)
The Secret of Rocky Flats: The Never-Ending Story of a Cold War Plutonium Plant

In These Times
January 2, 2012

BOULDER, COLO. - When the Green Bay Packers score, fans pound thunderously on the corrugated metal wall of the patio at the Rocky Flats Lounge. Newcomers to the area would likely never guess that in decades past, the tavern between Denver and Boulder would be packed with workers involved in a secretive, controversial and dangerous industry…and that the expanse of wind-swept, weedy, rubble-strewn land across the highway from the tavern was where private contractors working for the U.S. government constructed atomic bombs out of tons of plutonium and other radioactive and toxic elements.

Weapons production halted at the Rocky Flats plant in 1992, and most of the buildings have been dissembled and 80 percent of the area is officially designated a wildlife refuge. But as journalist and University of Colorado Professor Len Ackland told me recently, "the Rocky Flats story is still going on."

Much of the 10-square-mile grounds are still so contaminated that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the wildlife refuge, refuses to take possession of it. Hundreds of former workers are still suffering from cancer, beryllium poisoning and other diseases likely caused by their work, and many workers and their survivors are still battling to obtain compensation from the government. In addition, the plutonium bombs manufactured at Rocky Flats exist within the thousands of nuclear weapons comprising today's U.S. arsenal.


For the entire article, see
http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12468/ the_secret_of_rocky_flats_author_len_ackland_on_the_plutonium_plant/


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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