In this interview with Kristen Iversen from June 27, 2012, we learn about the history and legacy of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Site, located 15 miles northwest of Denver, CO. Iversen grew up in nearby Arvada, and worked at the plant.
The recent catastrophic fires in Superior and Louisville, CO, brought it to mind, since Superior butts right up against and downwind from the Rocky Flats site, and Louisville butts right up against Superior. On the day of the fire, December 30, 2021, winds were clocked at Rocky Flats at 115 miles per hour. But beyond that, as Kristen Iversen tells us, those winds had been blowing east from the plutonium contaminated site for 6 decades.
Local residents protested the moral and physical dangers at Rocky Flats, as well as proposed real estate developments along its borders, which were nonetheless built, in spite of the scientific findings of plutonium contamination and strong, local resistance, and which have now been utterly destroyed by the fires.
It has been widely reported that abundant spring rains allowed the grasses to grow profusely, only to dry completely in the ensuing drought and unseasonably hot and dry Fall and early Winter. In the growing, those plants absorbed plutonium, known to have been blown there from the Rocky Flats Weapon Lab site during those six decades. The fire vaporized whatever plutonium had been taken up by that tinder dry plant material, blowing it in unknown amounts and unknown distances to the east. I have not found any reports mentioning this aspect of the fires, much less considering the fallout from it, in the most literal sense.
Perhaps this post can be a beginning of that consideration.
Articles referenced or pertinent to this story:
The Return of the Urban Firestorm https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/colorado-saw-the-return-of-the-urban-firestorm.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab
The Rocky Flats Grand Jury’s Files Have Gone Missing https://www.westword.com/news/rocky-flats-grand-jurors-were-silenced-and-now-files-are-gone-11430085
Update Regarding Rocky Flats Hot Particle Study https://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org/single-post/2020/04/09/Update-Regarding-Rocky-Flats-Hot-Particle-Study
Plutonium Inventory Differences at the Rocky Flats Plant & Their Relationship to Environmental Releases https://nuke.fas.org/cochran/nuc_11229601a_178.pdf
It’s alive: The groundbreaking research on the microbes in wildfire smoke https://grist.org/grist-video/its-alive-the-groundbreaking-research-on-the-microbes-in-wildfire-smoke/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=weekly