2010 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:31:03 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] RADIATION: Plutonium dust downwind from Rocky Flats (CO)
Guest commentary: Responsibility downwind of Rocky Flats

By LeRoy Moore
Boulder Daily Camera (CO)
November 16, 2010

The Department of Energy almost certainly is responsible for the ongoing exposure of people to highly toxic radioactive plutonium in homes, schools, libraries, shops and workplaces downwind of the defunct Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory. Some people very likely have had their health damaged. But to date the DOE has done nothing about the problem.

The issue surfaced recently when a citizen sampling project sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center of Boulder found plutonium in dust collected from crawl space beneath a house about one mile downwind of the Rocky Flats plant site. Wind had carried the plutonium from the plant to this location during production years. It had collected in the crawl space since 1960 when the house was built.

The principal product of the Rocky Flats plant was the explosive plutonium "pit" at the core of every warhead in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Some 70,000 pits were produced at the plant between 1952 when production began and 1989 when it ended. Throughout this period tiny plutonium particles were released to the environment by fires, accidents and routine operations. Particles were distributed near and far by the wind common at the site.


For the entire column, see


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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