Let’s find more responsible ways to handle the toxic contamination in Colorado.
Nuclear weapons haven’t been produced at the site south of Boulder since 1989, but toxic residues remain. Plutonium was left in soil on and off the Rocky Flats site. Now, developers want to build a toll road through the most contaminated area, kicking up carcinogenic dust just 16 miles upwind of Denver. Other plans call for public recreation on the site. But the plutonium will be dangerously radioactive for a quarter-of-a-million years, outlasting many lifetimes, including our children’s children’s children’s. All people — here today and still unborn — should be protected from the radioactive threat quietly left behind at Rocky Flats.
What is Nuclear Guardianship?
Nuclear Guardianship combines art, science, and remembrance to address the seemingly intractable human-caused problem of nuclear contamination with wisdom and creativity. Based on the pioneering work of eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Rocky Flats: A Call to Guardianship applies the ideas and ideals of Nuclear Guardianship at a former nuclear weapons manufacturing plant just outside of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
For 37 years, beginning in 1952, the fissile plutonium pits at the core of all the warheads in the U.S. nuclear arsenal were produced at Rocky Flats. This resulted in contamination of the surrounding environment with minute plutonium particles that will emit tiny bursts of harmful radiation continuously for thousands of years. Inhaling or otherwise taking such particles into the body could have serious health consequences over time. (Click the photo above for more specific information about health risks to children.)
Nuclear Guardianship is a manifestation of a powerful cultural shift away from secrecy and denial of our nuclear legacy towards an ethic of ecological responsibility. It is guided by scientific curiosity and openness coupled with spiritual commitment, and it establishes a model for perpetual ecological stewardship and environmental democracy.
The first priority in the application of Nuclear Guardianship at Rocky Flats is to press the point that the area will pose a danger forever. Any disturbance of the environment there, now or in the distant future, would release radioactive particles that can harm humans and other beings. Since knowledge and technology will advance over the years, we advocate cutting-edge monitoring and exhaustive hazard mitigation that will evolve and advance now and far into the future. At this moment, we must work diligently to prevent Rocky Flats from being opened for public recreation. Much of the site has already been renamed the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and maps with hiking and biking trails have been designed. Join us in the work of passing the warning of the dangers of Rocky Flats, along with an ethic of care for our planet, to our children and our distant great-great grandchildren.