Reed Bailey’s opinion: “Is Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge safe?” entirely misses the point, by belaboring the subject of background radiation and deflecting attention from the real risk. The scientists and physicians who have repeatedly warned the public about this hazard are concerned right now that Jefferson Parkway construction along the Refuge eastern edge would raise plutonium-contaminated dust which would enter the lungs of workers and nearby residents. A host of official studies shows that direct impact of tiny plutonium particles onto internal tissue causes cancer, a point that Mr. Bailey cannot honestly deny. Readers will of course consider the source of the argument “It’s safe enough” from a former employee of that notorious operation.
US Fish and Wildlife, in charge of the Refuge, officially admits residual plutonium on site means that the Refuge is “not….. pristine” (USFW letter 10/21/2003). My own DOE contract work showed astronomical numbers of radionuclide particles deposited there, and DOE-contractor Rockwell admitted at the State Capitol (9/30/1987) that they routinely emitted tiny airborne plutonium particles for decades. The entire Rocky Flats Refuge was dusted with respirable plutonium: beware!
Harvey Nichols, Ph.D.,
Emeritus Professor of Biology