Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: cancer, Carl Johnson, Cesium-137, denver, fission event, Iodine-131, Leroy Moore, plutonium contamination, radiation, Rocky Flats
Figure 2. Carl Johnson studied cancer incidence for 1969-1971 among Anglos in three areas downwind of Rocky Flats defined by levels of plutonium contamination in millicuries per square kilometer (mCi/km2) as compared to the uncontaminated control area. See the text above for cancer incidence rate for each area. From Johnson, “Cancer Incidence in an Area Contaminated with Radionuclides Near a Nuclear Installation,” AMBIO, 10, 4, October 1981, page 177 and Table 3 (copyright Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, reprinted by permission of Allen Press Publishing Services).
Fires in 1957 and 1968 sent an unknown amount of highly radioactive material over the Denver area. Johnson found higher cancer rates the closer he got to Rocky Flats.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Boulder, Denver plutonium, Full Body Burden, Kristen Iversen, Leroy Moore, Plutonium, plutonium fire, Rocky Flats, Standley Lake
That’s right, 2003.
Toward the end of Kristen Iversen’s remarkable book, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, she provides a detailed account of a severe plutonium fire that happened in Building 371 at Rocky Flats in May 2003 in which Rocky Flats firefighters put their lives at risk in order to protect innocent people both on and off the site. By the time of this fire, I had for a decade been attending Rocky Flats-oriented meetings at the rate of two or three per month as a member of a number of advisory and oversight bodies focused on trying to get a responsible cleanup at Rocky Flats. When the fire happened, those of us engaged closely in Rocky Flats matters were awaiting publication of the final legally-binding Rocky Flats Cleanup Agreement by the Department of Energy and the cleanup regulators, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Despite all this close attention to what was happening at Rocky Flats, I and others around me never heard that there was another serious plutonium fire at Rocky Flats in May 2003. No one from the federal and state agencies responsible for day-to-day activities at Rocky Flats, no one from Kaiser-Hill, the cleanup contractor, no one informed us of this fire.
It might as well have been 1957 when a plutonium fire at Rocky Flats resulted in the largest single release of highly toxic plutonium to the offsite environment and the public heard not a peep. Forty-six years later, not a peep.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Edward Martell, Leroy Moore, NCAR, Plutonium, Rocky Flats
As far as we’re concerned…
The late Edward Martell, NCAR radiochemist, pointed out as early as 1970 that the radioactivity from plutonium dust particles at Rocky Flats is “millions of times more intense than that from naturally occurring radioactive dust particles (uranium) of the same size. Minute amounts . . . are sufficient to cause cancer.”
Martell maintained that standards for permissible exposure to plutonium are at least 200 times too lenient. He called for the appointment of independent researchers to develop far more stringent standards. This has yet to happen. When in 1983 he heard that antinuclear activists planned to encircle Rocky Flats, he warned: No children or women of childbearing age should go near the place.