A hot summer for Friends of the Refuge: the gloves are off

Those who oppose public use of the Refuge have been busy distributing an extra-large helping of misinformation over the last few months. Perhaps the most insidious effect of the activist groups is that some members of local municipalities may believe that cancers can be somehow averted if only Rocky Flats were placed off limits to the public and to public use (for example, by the Jefferson Parkway).  They see an opportunity to lobby the Broomfield City Council against funding their part of the Jefferson Parkway.

We were extremely encouraged to see a turnout of 80-100 Candelas residents at our August 27th presentation (announced but in no way influenced or funded by Candelas management). I believe this marks the beginning of serious political clout on the part of residents around Rocky Flats, which we’ll need to fight the fear mongering and factually wrong “information” from the relatively small anti-Refuge groups. (Anyone who can think of a term better than “activists” will win a prize. Kim Griffiths and I both feel that activism is a praiseworthy translation of beliefs into action. “Conspiracy theorists” is accurate, but not all on the anti-Refuge side will like that.)

The audience was very well informed with lots of great questions. We will be beginning an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section soon.

If you haven’t visited our site in the last 8 months, there are many changes and lots of new information in the Knowledge Base:

Most recent: A PDF of DMW’s and Kim Griffith’s presentation in late August to Candelas residents in the wake of the `hot sample’ along the Jefferson Parkway and stepped-up attacks on public use of the Refuge.

Short graphical ‘pamphlets‘ on measured ambient radiation rates on the trails in the Refuge and even (courtesy of Kim Griffiths) the DOE-controlled ‘Central Operable Unit’. Both show low-normal Front Range background levels.

A thorough analysis of radioisotopes in Rocky Flats soil may be found under ‘Natural soil radioactivity’. The RF-specific plutonium and americium isotopes contribute less than 3% of the total.

The `Hot particles’ document has been updated to estimate their impact on radiation dose. You’d have to inhale thousands of respirable hot particles to raise your cancer risk by 1%.

Also recent: what DMW sent to the Broomfield City Council to rebut remarks by (current spokesman for anti-Refuge activists). While Kim and I are ambivalent about the Jefferson Parkway, we feel strongly that civic decisions made on the basis of misinformation are terrible.  These documents examine why alleged `cancer clusters’ around Rocky Flats are incredibly improbable. In a second document, I correct a number of incorrect statements by (same dude) about hot particles and miscellaneous other things. As usual, the activist groups should not be relied on for information about science, health, radiation, cancer, or epidemiology. They often have good historical information and pictures, however.