Thursday, March 17, 2011

You are living in a nuclear experiment

Jerry Harden, nuclear worker, tells it like it was at the Nuclear Weapons plant at Rocky Flats.

Denver and the surrounding metro area is an ongoing experiment in the effects of nuclear radiation on human beings. You probably weren't aware of it when you were raised here or moved to Denver. The accumulated effects of nuclear weapons production at Rocky Flats, resulting in contaminating fires, accidental releases, and purposeful redistribution of radioactive materials (see purple pipe water) has contaminated our entire Denver Metro environment. You would have to do a lot of research to verify that for yourself, but fortunately we have the current efforts of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center to help us out. The presentation tonight should be particularly helpful.

On Thursday, March 17, 7:30 at the Nalanda Campus of Naropa University, 6287 Arapahoe, Boulder, this issue will be explored in a presentation by Marco Kaltofen of the Boston Chemical Data Corp., who heads Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s investigations into nuclear releases. In April 2010 he detected plutonium in dust collected by a citizens group from crawl space in a house downwind of Rocky Flats.

Mr. Kaltofen will be joined in his presentation by biologist Harvey Nichols, PhD, and meteorologist W. Gale Biggs, PhD. Nichols examined airborne radioactive particles released from Rocky Flats in the mid-1970s. Biggs assessed air monitoring at Rocky Flats and investigated the size of plutonium particles released from the plant. The March 17 event is the sixth in the six-month Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship series co-sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Naropa University’s Environmental Studies program and the Alandi Ashram of Boulder. The public is invited; donations will be welcomed.

Nuclear Guardianship combines art, science and remembrance to address the seemingly intractable human-caused problem of nuclear contamination with insight and creativity. By raising awareness about the long-term dangers associated with exposure to tiny particles of radioactive plutonium knowingly left in the soil at Rocky Flats after cleanup of the site, the project builds community on behalf of ecological responsibility and greater democracy.

“Each generation shall endeavor to preserve the foundations of life and well-being for those who come after. To produce and abandon substances that damage following generations is morally unacceptable.” This is the first value of the Guardianship Project Ethic. The project was first conceptualized by author, scholar, Joanna Macy. It is the basis of the Rocky Flats Guardianship Project.

For more details about the project, including a calendar of events and bios of presenters, visit


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