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Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant

NEWS
March 30, 1990 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Enough plutonium to build seven nuclear bombs has escaped into the air ducts of the federal government's Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility here over the last 38 years, federal officials said. The 62 pounds of plutonium is spread throughout 6,000 feet of air ducts and "does not pose a health risk to workers at the plant or to public health," said Pat Etchart, a spokesman for the Department of Energy.
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NEWS
March 29, 1990 | EDWIN CHEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two vital components of the nation's crippled nuclear weapons production complex will resume operating before the end of this year, Energy Secretary James D. Watkins told Congress Wednesday. The projected timetable, which Watkins admitted is "ambitious," aroused skepticism from some members of the House Armed Services defense nuclear subcommittee, who also expressed concern that the expedited schedule might give short shrift to safety concerns.
NEWS
March 15, 1990 | JOHN M. BRODER and RUDY ABRAMSON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Continuing safety and environmental problems at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant in Colorado are threatening to halt the Navy's $62-billion Trident submarine program, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The Navy has only enough nuclear weapons on hand to equip the first two Tridents, which are scheduled to be commissioned--each with a full complement of 24 eight-warhead Trident 2 ballistic missiles--by the end of the summer.
NEWS
February 27, 1990 | RUDY ABRAMSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The volume of radioactive waste generated at the troubled Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant in Colorado has been cut by half in recent months. It should be reduced by half again next summer, easing a storage crisis building for more than a year, Energy Secretary James D. Watkins told the nation's governors here Monday.
NEWS
January 14, 1990 | From Associated Press
Twelve people who were exposed to the metal beryllium while working at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant have contracted a deadly lung disease, an Energy Department study obtained by a newspaper says. Eight current Rocky Flats workers and four retired employees tested positive for berylliosis, the Denver Post reported in Sunday editions.
NEWS
December 9, 1989
Two government agencies that oversee the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver signed a draft agreement assigning responsibility to begin cleaning up the contaminated complex "almost immediately." The Department of Energy put off signing the document until next week because of a financial snag. The EPA and Colorado Department of Health signed the document, which would be a blueprint for carrying out cleanup priorities agreed on in principle by Gov. Roy Romer and Energy Secretary James D.
NEWS
December 2, 1989 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Energy Secretary James D. Watkins said Friday that plutonium operations will be halted indefinitely at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant until all safety concerns are met. Watkins also announced a major management shake-up at the plant, and said the new management structure will make the plant more responsive to safety concerns.
NEWS
October 12, 1989 | From Associated Press
The Bush Administration found no takers Wednesday for its plan to send excess radioactive waste from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant to seven states in order to avert a possible plant shutdown. "No sale," Washington Gov. Booth Gardner said after receiving a telephone plea from White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu and a personal visit from Mike Lawrence, manager of the Hanford weapons plant near Richland.
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