Westword Article 8/26/2020

Doom With a View: Jeffco Health Director Looks Back on Rocky Flats

Click here to read the full Westword Article, an excerpt by Dr. Mark Johnson from the new book Doom with a View

“You and Jefferson County killed my husband!” The woman on the telephone was almost screaming now. The emotional anger and mental agony were palpable as she spat the words at me. “I will never talk to you or anyone from Jefferson County,” she shouted as she slammed her telephone receiver down.

It was the summer of 1990. I had recently been appointed as the executive director of the Jefferson County Health Department. Jefferson County, metropolitan Denver’s gateway to the Rocky Mountains, contained the Rocky Flats Plant, the Department of Energy’s industrial site that made plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs. It had been a year since Operation Desert Glow, the raid on the Rocky Flats Plant by the FBI and the US Environmental Protection Agency. As the government official statutorily responsible for protecting the health of Jefferson County’s residents, I was trying to learn all I could about the nuclear weapons fabrication site and its potential impact on the health of the community. Click here to read the full article

This is an excerpt from Doom With a View: Historical and Cultural Contexts of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, edited by Kristen Iversen with E. Warren Perry and Shannon Perry, and published by Fulcrum. There will be a Zoom launch party for the book with many of the authors at 6 p.m. Friday, September 4; register here.

Image Credit: Jay Vollmar

#NuclearGuardianship #rockyflats