Apart from the Big Picture and INSIDE THE REFUGE documents, we recommend that the science documents be read in order. Suggested background reading is given at the beginning of each; references are at the end. There is a brief table of contents for each at the beginning. The choice of PDFs for documents is made necessary by the need to mingle graphics, occasional math, marginal remarks an an extensive bibliography.
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THE BIG PICTURE
Inside the refuge
New [May/June 2019] documents answer the questions "What radioisotopes are in Refuge soil?" and "What are measured radiations levels on the trails and even inside the off-limits DOE "central operable unit"?" Brief flyers gives a non-technical summary of results.
More than 97% of Refuge soil (and thus, in windblown dust) radioactivity is due to naturally occurring isotopes common along the Front Range.
The ADER ["ambient dose equivalent[radiation] rate"] measured in April 2019 is entirely consistent with ordinary background radiation along the Front Range, nor are there "hot spots" on the trails.
The COU is the 'donut hole' administered by the Department of Energy). Data courtesy of Kim Griffiths, a member of the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council who visited the COU on June 10th 2019.
The ADERS ["ambient dose equivalent[radiation] rate"] measured in April 2019 is entirely consistent with ordinary background radiation along the Front Range, nor are there "hot spots" on the trails.
These two non-technical pages summarize why the ordinary background radiation levels in the Refuge are no surprise.
A non-technical single page about the COU visit data.
Documents about the science
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DMW's 2013 experience before buying a house in Candelas.
Background on people's reactions to radiation and risk and how repetition can crowd out truth.
Almost everything you need to know to read articles about radiation and health.
Your risks of cancer are largely determined by your lifestyle; radiation is a small contributor.
How risk is quantified and how radiation-induced cancer has been monitored. A quick introduction to RESRAD, the tool used by the Department of Energy and others in the US and abroad for assessing dose and risk.
Put your exposure to radiation from Rocky Flats in perspective. Despite the highest background radiation rates in the US, cancer rates in Colorado are among the lowest.
The most important document on our site. The 'ground truth' for those who live around the former Rocky Flats, the famous maps, and radiation dose estimates `by hand' and using RESRAD, the software used by the US Department of Energy and other entities around the world.
The estimates themselves (simple math) and a sample check of RESRAD
The 'linear, no-threshold' (LNT) hypothesis , used around the world for radiation mitigation, has been relegated to a regulatory standard determining mitigation levels, not a predictor of cancer risk, which it very likely overestimates at the extremely low doses relevant to the Rocky Flats area.
Frequently raised concerns include
- Risks due to 'hot particles' were plausible 40 years ago; they were discredited in the mid 1970s and later.
- Alleged "cancer clusters" around Rocky Flats. Cancer clusters are very hard to identify. While downwinders unquestionably were harmed by the history of the Rocky Flats plant, those moving into new developments are not.
- Uncertainties about the redistribution of Pu by burrowing animals
- The need to 'tie the hands' of the Fish and Wildlife Service about what the need for prescribed (controlled) burns to avoid prairie wildfires within the Wildlife Refuge because of alleged risks due to redistributed or inhaled Pu from ash.
These issues are addressed in Hot particles no longer, Cancer clusters (with suggestions to Downwinders for how to make their case stronger, including software), and Burrowing critters and burning vegetation.
Highly radioactive inhaled small particles have not been regarded as a special risk since the mid 1970s.
Pockets of high cancer rates are extremely hard to demonstrate reliably. Tools to try.
Simple estimates of why burrows just don't matter but fires might. All the more reason to let Fish&Wildlife do its job.