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Plutonium remains in the ground below proposed Rocky Flats national wildlife refuge

Guardian 22nd Aug 2018 The nation’s newest national wildlife refuge, filled with swaying prairie
grass and home to a herd of elk, is slated to open next month just outside
Colorado’s largest city.

But seven Denver metro area school districts
have already barred school-sanctioned field trips to the preserve. A top
local health official says he would probably never hike there.

And a town is suing over what the soil might contain. “The threat posed by
contamination at Rocky Flats and its effect on visiting children appears to
be an issue of dispute amongst experts,” Lisa Flores, a Denver public
schools board of education member, told the Guardian.

“Until we have definitive assurances of child safety, we will exercise an abundance of
caution.” The 2,119-hectare (5,237-acre) Rocky Flats national wildlife
refuge, due to open this autumn, sits on land surrounding what once was a
nuclear weapons production facility. From 1951 to 1989, the Rocky Flats
Plant manufactured plutonium triggers – grapefruit-size spheres that,
when compressed by explosives, catalyze a nuclear reaction. Though the
area, about 20 miles north-west of Denver, has been cleaned up and declared
safe by the government, plutonium remains in the ground where the facility
once stood.

August 25, 2018 - Posted by | - plutonium, environment, USA

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