Sunday, September 15, 2013

Is Rocky Flats Superfund Site Near Boulder Under Water?

I have been reading Kristen Iversen's excellent Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats and it has made me wonder; also because, you know, PLUTONIUM.
Radioisotope Brief: Plutonium
Plutonium-238 (Pu-238)
Half-life: 87.7 years
Plutonium-239 (Pu-239)
Half-life: 24,110 years
Plutonium-240 (Pu-240)
Half-life: 6,564 years
Mode of decay: Alpha particles
                           -- Courtesy of the CDC
Other Superfund sites have flooded (hello New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia) but they have been chemical waste sites rather than nuclear waste. Rocky Flats' ground water has been called the single greatest environmental hazard at any nuclear facility in the U.S.. A Grand Jury convened in 1989 to examine evidence of criminal liability on the part of the DOE and the contractor(s), first Dow then Rockwell. Their findings were quashed by a plea agreement brokered by the DOJ, against which the Grand Jury rebelled, refusing to endorse the deal. The judge ordered their report sealed, inadvertently creating a runaway jury which then ran away with the press. The factory closed down in 1992, and the Superfund clean-up was declared "complete" in 2005 although final rates of contamination are still sealed.

Who know what flood waters might bring to the surface?

Read more about the Runaway Jury.