In a story of secrecy, criminal allegations, and intrigue, the author delivers a personal account of his professional experiences at the Rocky Flats Plant -- a government-owned facility located northwest of Denver, Colorado -- which produced nuclear weapons components for the U.S. national defense program.
In the early part of his career as a research and development chemist at Rocky Flats, the author observed the diligence and camaraderie of colleagues who worked in secrecy to produce the weapons components deemed essential to our nation's defense program. Later, as an environmental manager, he witnessed the dedication of Rocky Flats workers in protecting themselves, their nearby families, and the local environment by their safe and careful processing, storage and disposal of the hazardous materials and wastes that had been used or generated in fulfilling the Rocky Flats mission.
From its dawn in 1952 until the 1989 raid by FBI and EPA agents alleging environmental crimes, Rocky Flats produced plutonium "triggers" and other nuclear and non-nuclear weapons components considered essential to the nation's Cold War effort. From 1989 until its final closure in 2005, Rocky Flats was subjected to intense scrutiny by federal and state agencies and grand jury investigations as it struggled to comply with increasingly strict environmental and safety requirements applied to its cleanup and closure efforts.
Even today the legacy of Rocky Flats is unfairly jaded by urban myths, half-truths, and deceptions that continue to be popularized and perpetuated absent factual basis. The purpose of this book is to set the record straight by providing a first-hand account of someone who was there -- in the thick of it -- and not some imaginative re-creation of some ambitious journalist or wild-eyed federal agent covering his tracks after discovering he had been misled. It explains why Rockwell International -- the government's operating contractor at the time of the raid -- eventually pled guilty and paid record fines for self-reported offenses that appear more inadvertent than criminal.
The author hopes this accounting will help redefine the Rocky Flats legacy, vindicate and return dignity and respect to those who served the nation's interest during the Cold War, and provide the missing balance to the Rocky Flats story that perseveres in most popular reports.