ROCKY FLATS DOWNWINDERS SEEK RECOGNITION AT THE CAPITOL WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2016
Rocky Flats Downwinders, Founder
ROCKY FLATS DOWNWINDERS SEEK RECOGNITION AT THE CAPITOL
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27
Denver, CO- The Rocky Flats Downwinders group and their supporters will be gathering at the Colorado Capitol at 12pm on the West Steps, Wednesday, January 27, 2016 to raise awareness of "Downwinders" illnesses that have been reported around Rocky Flats since the 1970’s and of the need to conduct a community health survey and medical monitoring of those who lived in close proximity to the former Nuclear Weapons Plant at Rocky Flats during the years of its operation from 1952-1989.
Downwinders are people who live or lived near nuclear testing sites, weapons plants, and reactors where risk of radiation exposure is greatest. National Downwinders Day was originally designated in 2012 to recognize those who have been impacted by all of the nuclear testing that took place in the western United States. Current and former residents of Arvada, Westminster and the greater Denver Metro area have long suspected that their reported Downwinders illnesses may be as a result of the nuclear weapons production that took place at the plant, including the illegal incineration of plutonium and the inadequate and improper storage of radioactive waste that occurred. However, the fact that no direct community health survey of those residents has ever taken place to determine whether they suffer Downwinders illnesses greater than the average population make it impossible to know the extent of the problem or even whether there is a problem. The handful of epidemiological health studies of residents who lived near Rocky Flats are limited in scope, over twenty-five years old and reveal conflicting results.
The gathering will observe a moment of silence for National Downwinders Day and recognize Downwinders locally, nationally and globally. Presentations at the event will include introductions from the founders of the Rocky Flats Downwinders group and guest comments from the internationally recognized author Kristen Iversen, a Colorado Native and author of the well-known book, Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. Other speakers will include Alesya Casse, a community member who has been outspoken regarding the ongoing health concerns confronting residents in the area around Rocky Flats. Other community members in attendance will include members of the Candelas Glows group, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, local student groups, and former nuclear workers from the plant.
Rocky Flats has a long history of controversy, and remains controversial today amidst ongoing homebuilding in the area, and the effort by governments and corporations to "forget" and essentially cover up what happened there despite ongoing illnesses and health risks. Recent concerns include whether or not the Wildlife Refuge should open to the public due to ongoing containment issues, particularly around the permanently closed nuclear waste dump at the center of the site. Additionally, The Rocky Flats Stewardship Council has reported repeated deterioration of the containment cap as well as significant movement of the cement covering the most toxic areas, resulting in broken or disabled monitoring stations. Repairs were still pending as of September 2015.
For more information on the event and the Rocky Flats Downwinders, please visit www.rockyflatsdownwinders.com or find the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/187241574964289/
Rocky Flats Downwinders, Founder