LeRoy Moore

A former academic, writer, devotee of nonviolence, and founder of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, LeRoy Moore, PhD, worked successfully with others to end production at the Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory near Denver, then sought the best possible cleanup of the plant’s highly contaminated site, only to be disappointed when the government agencies approved a cheaper, less responsible outcome. He served on various oversight bodies related to Rocky Flats and for several years was a member of two committees of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. He seeks the implementation of Nuclear Guardianship at Rocky Flats. From 1980 until he retired in 1996, he taught courses on nonviolent social change at the University of Colorado. A father and a grandfather, he resides in Boulder.

  1. Thank you for your serious attempt to create the first nuclear guardianship site.

  2. Hi LeRoy,

    I am a student of Niels Schonbeck and have been attending the nuclear guardianship lectures. I subscribe in the Denver Post and I noticed sudden action on the Jefferson Parkway issue and it sounds like they are moving forward quickly. They are meeting about it one the Chernobyl anniversary! (Maybe they are doing it on that day in hopes that none of us will be in aatendance due to the event on the West Capitol steps in downtown Denver at 4 pm on the same day).


    There is a public comment session at the Boulder County Commission meeting on Tuesday. Would you happen to know if RMPJC is planning to show a presence at the meeting in Boulder to voice opposition?

    They sure are sneaky.

  3. Thank you for all that you do! I read your article about the Northwest Parkway toll road, and I am in for the fight.

  4. Former U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarine officer here, who once served as chief engineer. Just wanted to offer my congratulations and encouragement for your sense of integrity and purpose regarding permanent nuclear guardianship status for Rocky Flats’ most affected areas.

    Frankly, I’m nothing less than appalled at the U.S. government’s obviously too-casual and too-cheap response to their-made-our plutonium contamination problem. Physics dictates that this must continue to be in place throughout the area, including Denver.

    People can’t grasp a 24,000-year half-life unassisted, but the fact remains that in the year 24,969 only *half* of the contamination from the 1969 fire at Rocky Flats — and spread throughout the Greater Denver area, especially northwest — will have naturally decayed.

    This is a very serious situation that requires serious minds, and we can only hope that it will be addressed more properly in the future by way of a cleanup of the entire area — as “cost prohibitive” as that may be. Short of that, banning human access to the areas most affected is the only thing that makes sense, even if a permanent ban is required. Well done on putting your shoulder to the wheel to help see this through.

    • Thank you, Mark Hughes, for this supportive and encouraging comment. I intend to share your remarks when I give a talk in a few days to the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council, an oversight body funded by the DOE, the only such body in existence now. For more on what we’re engaged in here, you might want to look at our web site at http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org/

      Best, LeRoy Moore

  5. Hi, Leroy, I am so glad I found this website and I will be going to your link posted above to your Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship site. I lived in Denver for 36 years where lung cancer deaths were rampant amongst our non-smoking neighbors in Cherry Hills (south Denver area). I have been studying Chernobyl and that led to reading about plutonium, hence I am just beginning my research of Rocky Flats and Hanford Nuclear Power Plant which is just across the Columbia River where I now live in Portland, OR. Hanford produced tons of plutonium up until approximately 1989 and is one of the most contaminated places on earth. I, too, am a lung cancer patient. They caught the first nodule in time, removed the upper lobe of my right lung and now I have another nodule growing in my lower right lung. My cancer is non-smoker’s cancer and I guess that may play a part in my research on how contaminated our earth is thanks to weapons technologies. Thank you to Gail Dubas for posting the link to the Denver Post article on the Jefferson Parkway Toll Road issue. I can’t believe people would want to disturb plutonium contaminated earth after only 40+ years. Great! So, with the high winds Denver & Boulder sometimes have, that dust would fly in any direction possible, contaminating everything it touches. Sorry this post was so long and, again, I thank you for your efforts of guardianship of Rocky Flats. I wish there were more people like you.

    • Hello Vicki:

      Thank you for your message. I’m sorry to hear about your non-smoker’s lung cancer. Cherry Hills is far from Rocky Flats but not too far for plutonium released from Rocky Flats to travel. I’m also familiar with the Hanford site; much of the plutonium processed at Rocky Flats originated at Hanford. Some also came from the Savannah River Plant in SC. I’m reading your message as a pause from an article on plutonium I’m right now writing. When it’s published I’ll post it to this blog.

      By the way, I’ve been thinking lately that we should compile a directory of people who think physical ailments (cancer or otherwise) they or others have experienced may be due to exposure to plutonium or other toxins released from Rocky Flats. Would you be interested in such a project?

      Good wishes to you.

    • This comment implies that nuclear radiation can cause cancer, but says nothing about the remarkable properties of botanical “nitrilosides” in controlling/curing cancer. You will be less frustrated if you make more efforts to inform yourself and others rather than simply issuing harangues and diatribes. LeRoy is my uncle and was helpful when I was vulnerable to the military draft in the early 1970s, so how can I help with his efforts now? Self-suppression works only to a point where the ancestral aggression drive takes over.

  6. Hello LeRoy…

    Would like your opinion on a question about Rocky Flats…
    Many entities, some with good intentions some without, have heralded the “land bridge” that section 16 creates for allowing migration onto and off of the RFWR. Is it, really, a good idea to encourage “easy migration” between wildlife living on Rocky Flats and the rest of the “food chain” ?

    • Hello Harry:

      In and of itself the land bridge, as it gets called, is not a bad idea, because wildlife already go back and forth between the Rocky Flats site and the open space along the base of the mountains not far to the west. In fact, when the plant was in production wildlife went back and forth. This of course means mainly large creatures like deer and elk and probably some bears, as well as coyotes and mountain lions. They have to cross Highway 93, but they cross roads busier than 93 a lot.

      What’s not good about the Section 16 land bridge is that for Fish & Wildlife Service to get this property they have to release a 300 foot wide strip of land down the eastern boundary of the RF site for construction of the Jefferson Parkway. There are many reasons why this privately financed toll road should not be built, but chief among them is that the Rocky Flats land on which the road would be built is contaminated with plutonium.

      I don’t know where you live, but the City Council in Boulder, where I live, dropped its long-term opposition to what is now called the Jefferson Parkway as part of the deal to get Section 16 transferred to FWS. The gain for Boulder is that this means Section 16 cannot possibly be developed and thus that development that Boulder does not want along Hwy 93 will not happen.

  7. Hi LeRoy,

    We just moved here from Tucson and have been looking at houses in the Louisville, Lafayette, Superior and Arvada area as I work in Golden and Boulder. I discovered your work yesterday after visiting Arvada and our realtor suggesting I should look into the Rocky Flats contamination history before we should consider Arvada too seriously. I read your essay, “DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC HEALTH AT ROCKY FLATS:

    I also read the two LA TImes Magazine articles by Barry Siegel in August 1993

    Very interesting and disturbing but of course not surprising given the various interests involved.

    I just this morning read your Feb 4, 2012 article in The Blue LIne summarizing the recent measurements along Indiana St.

    Here’s the point I wanted to make.
    Looking at those measurements, the highest P239 readings of 1579 pCi/Kg were at site 5S. This reading is 10 times higher than the reading at 23S just to the north and 6 times higher than the reading at 10S at Indiana and 86th parkway.

    My concern is that the fact that this higher reading is also the measurement closest to the Candelas development indicates that the Candelas development is exposing Plutonium into the air

    Was this high reading of 1579 pCi/Kg unusually high compared to the others as it appears to be?

    Was this a surface sample or was this a measurement at depth? If it was a surface sample, that would be consistent with and indicative of the plutonium enhanced dust being kicked up by the development activity there at the Candelas (which is not good given that airborne dust is the way to get this into the human system and “cook” until it produces cancer).


    • Hello Rob Kursinski:

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve been out of town, returned last night, so am just now on Sat, Mar 31, seeing your message.

      Your observations about the samples are quite perceptive. These samples were collected in September 2011. Sample 5S was collected to a depth of 6 inches. Perhaps more important than the depth is the fact that beginning the middle of the previous June movement of earth with bulldozers had taken place in a large swath of the Candelas development in the immediate vicinity of where sample 5S was collected. I was at that location on June 17, a very windy day, and the air was filled with clouds of blowing dust. I think it fair to assume that the Candelas activity had released plutonium-bearing dust that could then be readily picked up by the wind.

      You say you read my paper about Martell and Johnson. Perhaps you recall the discussion in that paper of how the State of Colorado established an essentially meaningless standard for plutonium in soil at off-site locations, such as Candelas. The most that the state might do with a development like Candelas, if the state got involved at all, would be to require that plutonium found in surface soil be plowed under.

      Best, LeRoy

  8. Leroy,

    My family and I were just out in the boulder and jefco area evaluating places to live in conjunction with a planned job change – coming to the area from New England. We happily found a few areas we love – one on the north slope of table Mesa and the other south of 82nd and west of Indiana. We chose this area over Broomfield and Erie for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it’s so much closer to Summit County. However, upon our return home, our research lead us to finally understand why there was “nothing” between our hotel at flat irons and this residential area (save for some new development occurring which seems to be called candelas).

    I’ve read your answer to smeone’s question about living in the “plum zone” and I sense your unease with that (specially Superior). What wold luntell family that wanted to move to the region, planned to work in boulde and didn’t want to be north of boulder? Would you be comfortable with them in the areas I mentioned above? If not, where would you recommend they look to move?.

    • Hello Leigh:

      These questions about where to live are always vexing. Contamination from Rocky Flats should, in my view, be avoided, because it’s primarily with easily airborne particles of plutonium that are too small to see but not to small to do harm is taken into the body. Plutonium has a 24,110 year half-life, which means that after this long, the material will still be half as radioactive as it it now, and so on. This means that from a human perspective this material left in the environment (as knowingly happened at Rocky Flats) poses an essentially permanent hazard. So I’d want to avoid areas known to be contaminated with plutonium. Atomic Energy Commission scientists P. W. Krey and E. P. Hardy mapped the contaminated area near Rocky Flats in 1970. A link to their map is on this blog. Take a look at it. I’d want to avoid the area they show to be contaminated. Most of Superior does not fall in the more contaminated zone. And there are plenty of areas both north and south of the more contaminated area that would be better with respect to contamination from Rocky Flats.

      Good wishes in your choice for a place to live.


  9. Thank you LeRoy. One follow up question…..and I assume I know the answer. Is there no updated map since 1970? With the amount of construction, land disturbance, natural erosion and such one would think the map looks different today, and it seems as if no public or private entity has updated this data….what a shame. This whole situation is a reflection of almost all that’s bad with aspects of the world we live in, and it’s a shame no public leader has the “balls” to fight for transparency so that at least all involved parties can work in a long term solution vs. worrying about liability and consequences.

  10. Hello Leigh:

    No similar map has been produced by anyone else, though the Krey and Hardy map was used to define the “class area” for a class action lawsuit (Coo, v. Rockwell International Corp.) brought on behalf of people living in the area shown by Krey and Hardy to be contaminated with plutonium released from Rocky Flats. This case was won in a jury trial in Denver federal court in 2005, with a verdict that ultimately totaled almost $1 billion. The verdict was reversed on appeal and is now on file with the Supreme Court.

    In addition, in Sept 2011 an independent scientist, Marco Kaltofen of the Boston Chemical Data Corp., collected soil samples along the eastern edge of the Rocky Flats site and examined the for plutonium content. He showed that the levels of plutonium in the surface soil now are roughly equivalent to the levels found by Krey and Hardy in 1970. An article summarizing his work appears on this blog.

    Best, LeRoy

  11. Greetings Leroy,
    I just finished Kristin Iversen’s book and found it incredibly upsetting. I currently live in gunbarrel and moved to the area over 20 years ago. The issue of Rocky Flats has faded away from the public consciousness compared to the late 80s and I would guess that over 50% of Colorado residents have no awareness of it. I applaud your efforts despite the apathy and ignorance of the public and the deliberate attempts of government officials, and vested interests to cover up the facts.

    It seems clear that the site is still a threat to public health. What do you think should be done at this point given that there is contamination in existing neighborhoods, as well as on land slated for development? Were the health risks known this could have serious implications for the NW metro area and I’m sure the chambers of commerce types would love it for people such as yourself and Iversen to shut up.

    Once again thank you for your wonderful work, Doug

    • Hello Doug:

      Thanks for this note. Kristen Iversen’s book is certainly a huge contribution to alerting people to the conditions at Rocky Flats. Right now we face two big problems, first, stopping construction of the proposed Jefferson Parkway, a privately financed toll highway, along the eastern, most contaminated edge of the Rocky Flats site. Second, we need to keep the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge from being opened for public recreation. The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship program is addressing both these issues, and we could certainly use your participation and support. To learn more about this work, other than my blog, go to http://www.RockyFlatsNuclearGuardiahship.org.

      Good wishes, LeRoy

  12. I’m looking for an article that appeared in Redbook in (I think) 1971, “The Great Nuclear Debate.” A close friend lived near Denver and gave birth to a severely disabled child. I’ve been very interested in more info about Rocky Flats since reading the article and my friend’s child has increased my research. Thank you.

    • Roxanne Kearns: I’m not familiar with the article you mention, would certainly like to see it if you locate it. I wonder if Kristen Iversen knows of it. I’ll send her a note.


      • I found an article that may be referring to Roxanne Kearns’ search for “The Great Nuclear Debate” in Time Magazine, dated Monday, Dec. 08, 1975 and entitled “Environment: The Great Nuclear Debate”, but you need a paid subscription to read the entire article. I hope this helps. Take care, Vicki T.

        “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

      • Thanks. I hope this proves helpful to Roxanne. When I searched for the article she wanted on Google, I was surprised how many articles with this title, “The Great Nuclear Debate,” showed up. The debate, which was incredibly vociferous in the 1980s, especially after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, goes on and on. It does appear now that there’s really no “renaissance” of nuclear power, though some countries are moving ahead (most notably China) with new reactors. Efforts in the U.S. haven’t disappeared, but are moving at a snails pace — no rush to build reactors. The bigger problem continues to be weapons, with the haves not wanting the have-nots to get them, yet doing very little to meet their obligations under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Article VI obligation to take concrete steps to abolish nuclear weapons by setting a positive example of disarmament and abolition.

  13. Hi Dr. Moore,

    I read Kristen Iversen’s brave book this summer and and recently moved to Lakewood (south of 6th Avenue, off Kipling). Somehow this is the first I’ve heard about Rocky Flats (which is incredible since I grew up in Bailey) and I am just wondering how safe it is to live in Lakewood or in other parts of Denver for that matter. Obviously northwestern Denver seems dicey. But are there any “safe” places in the Denver Metro area in general? I just want to get as much information as possible before I make any significant changes in my life. 🙂 Thank you so much for your work with this.


    • Hello Celsea:
      Thanks for your message. Kristen Iversen’s book is exceptional. I’m glad you read it. Living in Lakewood south of 6th Ave means you’re well outside the area contaminated by plutonium and other toxins released from Rocky Flats. Somewhere on this blog I have a link to a map of the area off the Rocky Flats site contaminated with plutonium. It shows that you live in the non-contaminated area.

      Best, LeRoy Moore

  14. Hi Leroy,

    One more question for you: (and thank you for taking the time to write about this) one of reasons Iversen’s book piqued my interest is because I had recently spent five weeks at the end of 2012’s very dry summer house sitting for a friend near Rocky Flats (about three blocks west of Wadsworth and just south of 100th street) where I did a lot of gardening, yard work, dog walking and commuting by bus to my job in Denver. It seems silly to worry about my short stay up there when people have been living there for years, but after seeing a few maps of contamination (thanks for directing me to those) I am concerned about the possibility of plutonium ingestion.

    In addition, I do a lot of house sitting and I carry all of my belongings with me in my car (I had everything up with me in Westminster as well) and I wanted to know if you knew of any best practices to prevent contamination to other areas of the state or the country (or the world) as I visit, travel, work and continue to house sit. I have thrown away a lot of stuff (which I needed to do anyway 🙂 and washed everything, but I have no idea if I’m doing my best to prevent further exposure to my current living spaces, family and friends and community.

    There may not be an answer to this (and again, I know people affected by Rocky Flats are dealing with much more dire difficulties), but it helps my peace of mind to ask. Thank you again for all of your work here.


  15. Hi Leroy,
    I am considering a move from Northern California to Denver for a job in the Denver Metro area. My discovery of the Rocky Flats Debacle was quite alarming, particularly since I have 2 girls (ages 11 and 8). I have seen the Johnson map showing the incidence of cancer in the zones downwind from RF. Areas 1, 2 and 3 showed 16, 12, and 6% increased incidence of cancer related to area 4, the “uncontaminated area”. Is there any data on the incidence of cancer in area 4 relative to other parts of CO or relative to other metropolitan areas in the US i.e. was the incidence of cancer in area 4 elevated as well?

    If I do decide to relocate to Denver (which is becoming increasingly unlikely as I read about RF), what areas of Denver Metro area or surrounding suburbs would you consider to be the most safe?

    Thank you for your tireless work in regards to RF.

    • Hello Tony:
      Thanks for your comment. As for your question, Johnson’s study showed that the cancer incidence in his Area IV (the area not contaminated with plutonium released from Rocky Flats) was roughly equivalent with the cancer incidence for the rest of Colorado. So, if you’re thinking about where to settle in the Denver area you should avoid Johnson’s Areas I, II and III. But I’d add you’d be side to avoid anything in the southwest outskirts because of contamination of water by the Lockheed-Martin plant in that area. Also you’d be wise to avoid the area around the former Rocky Mountain Arsenal where nerve gas was produced, in the northeast of Denver. The less contaminated areas would be to the northwest, provided you are north of contaminated areas on Johnson’s map. This would include Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, northern parts of Broomfield, etc.
      Good wishes, LeRoy

      • LeRoy
        Thanks for your answer. A follow up question on Johnson’s study. Although the increased risks of cancer in areas 1,2, and 3 were 16, 12, and 6%, do you have any idea of the absolute numbers we’re talking about. I think this is important for people to assess the magnitude of risk. For example, if we look at the region of the highest increased risk for cancer (Area 1 with 16% increased risk for cancer), if the absolute risk of cancer in area 4 were 1%, the 16% increased risk of cancer to 1.16% would be negligible. Also, is there any data on the relative risks of cancer in these areas prior to RFs i.e. could there be a baseline difference in cancer incidence in these regions due to other environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, etc?


  16. Tony: Johnson used numbers from the Colo. Cancer Registry for the period he studied. The numbers of cancers he found in regions I, II, and III (the contaminated area) in each case showed cancers in excess of the number of cancers in are IV, the non-contaminated area. You might want to look at his study to get the details of what he did. Here;s the reference: Johnson, Carl. 1981. “Cancer incidence in an Area Contaminated with Radionuclides Near a Nuclear Installation,” Ambio (October 1981), vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 176-182

  17. Dear Mr Moore,
    I have a question about the water supply in Thornton with respect to the plutonium from woman creek/Stanley Lake. We live in Boulder, but daughter’s swim team will be practicing at the at the Veteran’s Memorial Aquatics Center this year in Thornton. I have strong hesitations about letting her swim there due to the source of the water supply. What are you thoughts on this? Would you feel comfortable with your family members swimming there on a weekly basis?

    • Hello Susan Nicholson:

      I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you, but not myself being sure how to answer your question about whether it’s wise for your daughter to swim at the place in Thornton, I contacted my long-time friend Mary Harlow, a water specialist with years of experience monitoring the quality of water in communities downstream from Rocky Flats. She was out of town and got back to me only a couple of days ago. Here is her answer:

      I did a study on this issue for Westminster. I was working at the Semper water treatment plant as a Water Health Analyst… the bottom line is that the water treatment process will take any plutonium out of the water if there happens to be some come through. Thornton has a great water management team and I would absolutely say that the water is safe from any plutonium. I would not hesitate letting my daughter swim in the pool. My daughter was on the Arvada High School swim team and swam at Meyers pool in Arvada….Hope this helps.

      Best regards, LeRoy Moore

      • Hello LeRoy Moore,

        After reading Susan Nicholson’s question and your response, I was wondering if there are there any more resources or references you can point to further understand the relationship of Denver metro drinking water and associated holding reservoir impact, analysis, and treatment with regards to contamination (plutonium and otherwise) from Rocky Flats, Lockheed, Rocky Mountain Aresenal, etc.? I realize that this is likely a complicated issue in an already complex system, but wanted to research the safety of the drinking water via sources that aren’t tied with the government and/or utility companies. Any additional information you could point to further elaborate (and hopefully confirm) the opinions of your friend Mary Harlow would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you in advance for any help/information you might provide. In addition, your work educating about the Rocky Flats situation is commendable and sincerely appreciated.

        Jason Roth

      • Hello Jason Roth:

        Your question is indeed complex. I can give only a partial answer, since I have not studied all the places to which you refer. I think Mary Harlow may be better able to answer your question, but I do not know whether she has information of sites other than Rocky Flats. If you want to contact here, write to her at and be sure to tell her that I suggested you do so.

        A colleague, Adrienne Anderson, who died two years ago, studied the Lockheed situation thoroughly and found medical problems for people who depended on drinking water near the Lockheed-Martin facility. I would avoid using drinking water that is piped from the area downstream of their facility. There are also groundwater problems around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. People that might have more details on this than I are Warner and Joan Seeman . If you contact either pf them, mention that I recommended them.

        Good wishes on finding the information you seek.

        LeRoy Moore

      • Thanks again LeRoy,

        Please recommend how I can find contact information for Mary Harlow.

        Additionally, I’m having trouble locating many of Adrienne’s articles for the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center as most of the links no longer exist in the lone article I could find: http://denverdirect.blogspot.com/2011/01/contaminated-water-source-to-be.html.

        Any further guidance would also be appreciated.


      • Hello Jason:

        I tried sending Mary Harlow’s email address to you but wordpress evidently doesn’t allow this. Email addresses included in these postings are simply deleted. If you have my email address, send me a request there. Or call me at 303-447-2779.

        I’m not sure how you can find Adrienne Anderson’s work. You might inquire at the Environmental Studies program of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Or you might Google a combination of her name and terms like Waterton Canyon, Lockheed Martin, Denver Water Board, South Platte River or Chatfirld Reservoir (or lake).

        Best, LeRoy

      • Jason:

        I received your phone message and returned your call at 620-461-5456. Twice a voice told me the nuber is no longer in service. So I failed to reach you. Mary Harlow’s telephone number is 303-420-4534. Her email (if it gets through this time) is . I hope you’re able to reach her.

        Best, LeRoy Noore

  18. Dear Mr. Moore
    My youngest son was born Jan. 1988. We lived at this time in Broomfield Colo. the older part of town off Laurel St. We noticed at that time and years before that are gardens grew extra large produce. Not knowing what was going on at Rocky Flats site we did not think much of this. When my son was about 8 years old he started having medical problems. Finally at Stanford Hospital they found he had a immune disorder. It always made me wonder with no history of this on either side of his mother or my family history. My oldest son lives in Broomfield now and brought up to us about the burning of waste at nights during the years we lived there. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this? We lived in the town from 1984 til 1990.

    • Hello James Tarr:

      It’s certainly possible that one or both of your sons have health problems related to toxins released from Rocky Flats, especially in the period when they were burning plutonium-laced waste in an incinerator. During the period of which you speak use of this incinerator was made illegal, but it continued to happen. And the belief that it was happening was a major reason that the FBI raided the Rocky Flats plant in June 1989 to collect evidence of environmental law-breaking at the plant. Perhaps you remember what a scandal this raid was for the operators of the plant.

      I refer above to possibilities of adverse health effects, not certainties. It would be difficult to prove that Rocky Flats alone or partially is responsible for health problems. Unfortunately, there have never been any direct studies of the health of people living in areas known to be contaminated with plutonium released from Rocky Flats.

      I think your son in Broomfield is justified to raise the question he does. I wish there were more I could do for you. I will suggest you send a note about this to Kristen Iversen, author of the recently published FULL BODY BURDEN: GROWING UP IN THE NUCLEAR SHADOW OF ROCKY FLATS. She is collecting stories about health problems from people who lived or still live near Rocky Flats. Here email: or

  19. Have you ever thougnt about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other
    sites? I have a blog based upon on the same information
    you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I knpw my viewers would enjoy your work. If you’re een remotely
    interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    • Hello Lynell:

      I’m not sure about the idea of an e-book, but much that I have written is available on line at http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianshp.com. In addition I will in the coming months produce a greatly expanded online piece about environmental conditions at Rocky Flats as well as a series of power point presentations. each on a specific aspect of Rocky Flats history. And I have a chapter on Rocky Flats history in the recently published book, A YEAR OF DISOBEDIENCE AND A CRITICALITY OF CONSCIENCE, available in both hard copy paperback and electronically from Joseph Daniel

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      LeRoy Mooew

    • Lynell:

      I wrote a reply earlier but can’t find it now. Much that I have written about Rocky Flats is available on line at http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.com. In the coming months I will add a much longer summary about environmental conditions at Rocky Flats. I am also working on a series of power point presentations, each one about a different aspect of Rocky Flats history that will be available in disk and online video. Finally, I have a chapter on Rocky Flats history in Joseph Daniel’s A YEAR OF DISOBEDIENCE AND A CRITICALITY OF CONSCIENCE, available both as a paperback and electronically from http://www.ayearofdisobedience.com/about-us

      Thanks for your suggestion, LeRoy Moore

  20. Dear Mr. Moore,

    Thank you for your time and effort to share your knowledge with our community in Colorado. I can relate very much to “CP’s” concerns, being the father of a precious 8-1/2 month old boy.

    My wife and I currently live in Lakewood on the South side of Green Mountain. We are considering purchasing a home in Littleton, near the intersection of C470 and Ken Caryl Avenue, either to the east of C470 or west in the Ken Caryl Valley. I have a few questions regarding exposure to plutonium:

    1) Is there reason to believe that it is unsafe to live in Littleton where we’re thinking of settling?
    2) Is there reason to believe that it is safe to live in Littletone where we’re thinking of settling?
    3) Could a simple trip to a park in Denver cause an exposure to plutonium?
    4) Would we be better off living in another part of the country?

    We really do love the Denver area, but a location is not more important to us than the health of our son.

    Thank you!

    Pat Varley

    • Hello Pat Varley;

      Thanks for your note. There’s always some uncertainty in answering a question like yours. But I don’t believe you should be concerned about plutonium from Rocky Flats in the area of which yoiu speak, because of both the distance and the direction.

      Best, LeRoy Moore

      • Dear Leroy,

        Thank you for your prior response… the following is an update on our search for a home and some additional questions. We would be most grateful for your response.

        I have lived in Colorado for ten years, was married about 2 ½ years ago and my wife, Tristen, and I now have a beautiful and precious 13-month old son, Cormack. We live an active, athletic outdoor lifestyle and love Colorado for all of the many wonderful outdoor adventure opportunities that it presents. We also are very fond of Golden, CO for many reasons. We enjoy visiting the parks, Clear Creek, the Golden Recreation Center, mountain bike, hiking, rock climbing at North Table Mountain, etc.

        For some time now, we have had a long-term plan of owning a home and raising our family in Golden (I know I previously talked about Ken Caryl, but Golden is really our “dream community”.) Golden has been part of our dream for the following reasons:

        1) The community, parks, our church, close proximity to outdoor adventures.
        2) We would love to live in a place where we can get around on our bikes. For example, take our son to the library or rec center via bike, avoiding the car seat and car. Golden has a great network of bike paths, enabling us to bring our son with us on the safety of a bike path and without risk of a bike-car accident.
        3) Proximity to my work.

        In pursuit of our dream, we have sold my home in Fort Collins and are renting a home in Lakewood (south of Green Mountain) so that we can be closer to Golden and search for a home to buy in Golden. Concurrent with our search for the ideal home, we have become increasingly aware of the history of Rocky Flats. What an eye-opening and sobering topic to juxtapose with our vision of bike paths and outdoor rec!

        My family is very grateful for your work on http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org and on your blog. I had previously corresponded with you regarding the safety of the Ken Caryl valley and appreciate your thoughts very much. I’m wondering if you could help me consider or re-consider our goal of living in Golden and raising our family.

        I’ll share with you the areas that we are thinking of living:
        1) The Stonebridge neighborhood at Eagle Ridge. This neighborhood is southwest of the intersection of Heritage Road and US 6.
        2) We’re also considering living along the US 6 / CO 93 corridor. Somewhere between Heritage Road and where 93 meets Ford street. This would include the base of North Table Mountain and South Table mountain, but would exclude the north or east sides of North Table Mountain.
        3) We have ruled out Applewood. We have ruled out anything in the vicinity of 58th avenue. Neither of these have good bike path access into Golden.

        Please could you share your point of view regarding the risk of living with plutonium contamination from Rocky Flats in this part of Golden? Also, I would be interested in your opinion regarding the construction of the Northwest Tollway and how disturbing the soil could affect the parts of Golden that we have not ruled out. In other words, might the plutonium dust stirred up from that construction likely to newly settle on other parts of Golden, depending on the wind direction and wind speed during road construction?

        I know you will surmise from my background (much preferring bike paths because of their safety) and questions and concerns about plutonium that we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks with the health and safety of our son. That is truly our biggest priority in choosing a great place to live.

        Thank you in advance for considering these questions!

        Best regards,
        Pat Varley

      • Hello Pat Varley:

        Thanks for message and its questions about living in Golden. From the standpoint of contamination from Rocky Flats I think Golden would be a place of probably no contamination or. at most in the furthest north portions minimal contamination. The maps showing deposits of plutonium from Rocky Flats generally show it as moving east and southeast considerable distances but not in the direction of Golden. As for construction of the Jefferson Parkway, if it is built releases will be much smaller than those from fires and accidents at the Rocky Flats plant during productions years and the prevailing wind again will be east and southeast, not south toward Golden.

        You are wise to seek a place to live that will not be potentially harmful to your son.

        LeRoy Moore

      • Dear LeRoy,

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful and prompt response! I am indebted to you for your service to the community, it is very admirable and is an inspiration. I have also developed a deep appreciation for your predecessor of sorts, Carl J. Johnson. Having read your paper “DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC HEALTH AT ROCKY FLATS: THE EXAMPLES OF EDWARD A. MARTELL AND CARL J. JOHNSON”, I have some additional questions:

        Figure 2 in your paper shows the isopleths used to define areas I, II, III and IV of Johnson’s cancer epidemiology study. When I study this map, using the intersection of Colfax and Broadway and the location of Rocky Flats as two points of reference and overlay this on a Google Map of Golden and Denver, I approximate that much of Golden would be inside of the “area III” isopleth.

        Having said that, does this mean that Golden was included in the area III epidemiology population having a higher rate of cancer compared to control area IV? If that is the case, is it your opinion that those people in Area III were affected by the fires and accidents at Rocky Flats during production years, and the risk was higher for people living there during the time of the accidents, but not today? Do you know if soil in Golden has been sampled and the results?

        Thank you in advance for considering my additional questions. As a layperson, having your interpretation of the scientific studies is immeasurably valuable to informing the decision that our family is undertaking.

        Also, I’d like to share with you that I very much enjoyed reading your paper and this has inspired me to purchase a copy of “Full Body Burden” by Kristen Iversen.

        Thank you so much!

        Best regards,
        Pat Varley

  21. Dear Leroy,

    Or should I say Professor Moore. Long time since we were last in touch. Best way to get to me is by e-mail, Stephen_J_Nelson@brown.edu or Stephen.nelson@bridgew.edu. Much to catch up on, but what has me writing is that quite by accident I came upon your 1976 Journal of the American Academy of Religion commemorating Sidney Mead, “Sidney Mead’s Understanding of America.” How and why I stumbled upon that is an entire story. Do touch base. Can also provide phone number by e-mail.

    Warm regards,

    Steve Nelson

    • Hello Steve Nelson:

      Please refresh my memory. Where and when did we encounter one another?

      Your note takes me back a long time. I was a student of Sidney Mead’s at Claremont. By the time I finished my PhD in 1966 he had moved to the U. of Iowa. When he retiree, there was an event honoring him at the annual meeting of the AHA and Church History Society in New Orleans. I was one of several people invited to speak about him, and the article to which you refer is the text of the presentation I made on that occasion. I was in Chapel Hill at the U of No. Carolina for a couple of years, then in 1974 moved to Denver where I taught at the U. of Denver. In 1978 I left the academic world for the activist world, focusing on the Rocky Flats nuclear bomb plant near Denver and teaching courses on nonviolent social change at the U. of Colorado. I retired from this teaching in 1996 but continue my Rocky Flats related work. Some of what I have written is on this blog, much more is on line at http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguaraianship.com.

      So, where are you and what are you doing? I live in Boulder, CO. Email .

      Best, LeRoy Moore

  22. Dear LeRoy, Here is the deal. We go back to Hartford Seminary (then Foundation), 1969-1972. I was a student of yours, did my Master’s (M.A.R.S.) thesis on the Religion of the Republic and the Presidency of John Kennedy, essentially a rhetorical analysis of his speeches and writing and where he invoked the creed of the nation. You introduced me to Mead, if not in one of the first year colloquia, in your course in American Religious History (or whatever it happened to have as a formal title). Wife, Janet, met you on occasions and I think sat in on one of our seminars at your home on a class meeting or two, she at that time at Wellesley (now Chaplain to the University at Brown). At any rate, I followed you through the post-Hartford mess, your “Enough” button at our Commencement in June, 1972 said it all and that you had gone on to UNC and then out of academia and into the work that you have pursued apparently in such a goodly fashion for those nearly forty years. Home phone is: 401-351-7126. To catch you up, my c.v. is attached. You pushed my intellectual horizons and my writing, and that all blossomed in my Ph.D. and the publications and research that I have been about. Do call or we can pursue more via e-mail. Remind me to tell you how I happened on your article as that is part of my next and biggest research project that will lead to another book. Warm regards, Steve

    • Stephen: Not sure I ever responded to your 13 March 2014 message, more than a year ago. I’m curious how you found my article about Sidney Mead. And I suspect there’d be much more to commune about. My email is . I’d be glad to hear from you.


  23. I am sooooo thankful for your active service and love in Christ.

    I too have opened a thesis on the Church and your wisdom is wonderful. Please can I forward a number of questions that I have on the topic and be in contact with you.
    AP Mike Lee.


  24. Dear LeRoy,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and prompt response! I am indebted to you for your service to the community, it is very admirable and is an inspiration. I have also developed a deep appreciation for your predecessor of sorts, Carl J. Johnson. Having read your paper “DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC HEALTH AT ROCKY FLATS: THE EXAMPLES OF EDWARD A. MARTELL AND CARL J. JOHNSON”, I have some additional questions:

    Figure 2 in your paper shows the isopleths used to define areas I, II, III and IV of Johnson’s cancer epidemiology study. When I study this map, using the intersection of Colfax and Broadway and the location of Rocky Flats as two points of reference and overlay this on a Google Map of Golden and Denver, I approximate that much of Golden would be inside of the “area III” isopleth.

    Having said that, does this mean that Golden was included in the area III epidemiology population having a higher rate of cancer compared to control area IV? If that is the case, is it your opinion that those people in Area III were affected by the fires and accidents at Rocky Flats during production years, and the risk was higher for people living there during the time of the accidents, but not today? Do you know if soil in Golden has been sampled and the results?

    Thank you in advance for considering my additional questions. As a layperson, having your interpretation of the scientific studies is immeasurably valuable to informing the decision that our family is undertaking.

    Although the subject matter is very disturbing, I was fascinated to read your paper and this has inspired me to purchase a copy of “Full Body Burden” by Kristen Iversen.

    Thank you so much!

    Best regards,
    Pat Varley

    • Pat Varley:

      Hello again. It’s hard to know where the exact boundary of Johnson’s Area III is. In the same article you read, “Democracy and Public Health at Rocky Flats,” look at Figure 1. It’s a map produced by P. W. Krey of the Atomic Energy Commission showing his sampling for plutonium in the Denver metro area. One of his sampling locations is in Golden and as you can see from his map, he found no plutonium in the sample he did in Golden. You’ll see too that the basic outline of his isopleths, showing the plumes of airborne plutonium contamination, are very similar to Johnson’s. His sampling was done earlier than Johnson’s and I believe inspired Johnson to do what he did. The sampling of both men shows that plutonium contamination came close to the city of Golden. It seems likely that some plutonium was deposited in the northern areas where many houses have been built since they did their sampling.

      I hope this proves helpful.

      LeRoy Moore

      • Dear LeRoy,

        Once again, thank you for your prompt and thoughtful response! My wife and I are very grateful for your service. I hope for an opportunity to thank you in person sometime, I’ll be following your website and looking for chances to help with Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship.

        Very best regards,
        Pat Varley

  25. Pat:

    If you’re in the area, you might want to attend a free talk by chemist Niels Schonbeck on “Radiation, the Environment and Public Health,” 7-9 PM, Thursday, August 7, Performing Arts Center, Naropa University, 2130 Arapahoe, Boulder. Parking in the rear; to reach parking go south off Arapahoe on 20th, then left on Marine to the end.

    Best, LeRoy Moore

    PS: If you send me your email address, I’ll make sure you know about the Nuclear Guardianship meetings, usually on the evening of the fourth Thursday each month.

    • Dear LeRoy,

      Thank you so much for this information. Yes, please do include me in your mailings regarding meetings. My email address is ptvarley12@gmail.com. I’ll attend Thursday evening if I’m in the Boulder area.

      After discussing our latest exchange, my wife and I have one more question:

      Having referred back to Figure 1 and having read your article about the special vulnerability of small children, would you recommend that we not take our son to play outdoors in places like Arvada, Wheatridge, etc.? There are many lovely parks and other facilities in those communities that we have begun taking advantage of.

      I think the question on our minds is “is it enough to not live and spend 24 hours per day in these cities where soil measurements indicate plutonium contamination from Rocky Flats?” or “do occasional visits to these areas for a toddler present a special and avoidable health risk?”

      Thank you for being so generous with your time to respond to my many questions.

      Very best regards,
      Pat Varley

  26. Hello Pat:

    The problem with plutonium is that a very small amount can harm you if it’s inhaled or otherwise enters the body and lodges somewhere. Wherever it lodges, it will continue to irradiate surrounding tissue for the remainder of one’s life, and perhaps lead to cancer or some other ailment, including harm to future generations. A Columbia U. study of a few years ago found that a single plutonium particle can be harmful. Given this, I think it wise to avoid areas known to be contaminated so far as possible. The City of Westminster has a Dog Park in the area south and southeast of Great Western Reservoir. Local dog lover Alesya Casse says that quite a few dogs that go to the Dog Park, or did, have cancer. Some have died. Vets have told here they see more cancer among dogs that go there than they see otherwise.

    Best, LeRoy

  27. I believe the underbelly of Denver airport is the governments “responsible response” to the potential danger of Rocky Flats….built a FALLOUT SHELTER! Complete with a ceiling water sprinkler system to file people thru to wash off plutonium dust. Lots of space around the airport to create an instant tent city.
    Imagine if a plane was flown nose first into the 1600 underground barrels at Rocky Flats.

    • Hello Joyce Walker:
      You know things I don’t. I have no idea what you’re referring to when you mention the “underbelly of Denver airport.” Also “the 1600 underground barrels at Rocky Flats.” Maybe you can tell me the source of this information. Otherwise, I’m baffled.
      Best, LeRoy

      • Dear Dr Moore,
        There are many airport conspiracy theory’s. New World Order stuff. I’ve never taken those seriously. But a good diversion perhaps. The huge underground tunnels with sprinklers and the building they covered up with dirt are useful in case of plutonium fallout….and there is information and photos online of the underground construction. (Hard to avoid all the conspiracy theories). I do find the “theme” of the art work at the airport quite telling…the most disturbing of the works has been since painted over.
        Also the rocky flats area is a No Fly Zone. Which is explained by the fact that all nuclear atomic missile sites are No Fly Zones. However as you know, there are no missiles at rocky flats. You can with some work find the history of the 1601 underground barrels that were, in the day, originally put there and simply covered with tar unbeknownst to the government…?? I would guess that those barrels were precarious at the least! It must have been finally decided that the barrels left there were less dangerous than removing them…possibly in a deteriorated state. How could one possibly move them without outrageous consequences! Quite possibly the answer to why the “clean up” was completed much quicker than they had originally estimated. Although I have yet to find out how the barrels were covered during the clean up, did they pour concrete over them or what? One bomb or direct deliberate nose dive into those barrels would be catastrophic. Hence the No Fly Zone and airport Fallout Shelter.
        Thanks for your interest, Joyce Walker

  28. Hi Leroy,

    I have been reading your blog and website and have been very impressed with your education and information on Rocky Flats. I stand with you in thinking that any development and/or highway building in that area is too risky.

    If you have the time, I have a question. My family is considering purchasing a new home in the new Ryland development off of McIntyre and 52nd just north of Hwy 58 in Golden. Would you consider that area too risky as far as the plutonium fall-out from Rocky Flats? That area is not included in the “highly contaminated” area on the 1970 Krey and Hardy map that is circulating but I wanted to be make sure that it is far enough. Thanks for your time.

    Kind regards,

    • Hello CB:

      I think you are wise to wonder about the wisdom of living in the area of north Golden. If thinki9ng about plutonium and other materials released from Rocky Flats, I personally would be willing to live in the area about which you asked.

      Thanks for the inquiry,


      • Thank you Leroy for your valuable input. A few other quick questions if you have the time.

        This will be a new development and therefore, dirt will be stirred up in the process of building these new homes. In that case, would you would still feel safe living in the described development while houses are being built and the dirt is moved?

        Also, our children would be slated to go to Arvada West high school (West 64th Ave. & Ward Road) in the future. Would you also consider it safe for them to go to that high school with its location being South East/downwind of Rocky Flats but not necessarily in the “highly contaminated” area of the Krey and Hardy map?

        Again, thank you for your time. Please let me know how I can support your cause. I appreciate what you do.

        Kind regards,

  29. Thank you Leroy for your valuable input. A few other quick questions if you have the time.

    This will be a new development and therefore, dirt will be stirred up in the process of building these new homes. In that case, would you would still feel safe living in the described development while houses are being built and the dirt is moved?

    Also, our children would be slated to go to Arvada West high school (West 64th Ave. & Ward Road) in the future. Would you also consider it safe for them to go to that high school with its location being South East/downwind of Rocky Flats but not necessarily in the “highly contaminated” area of the Krey and Hardy map?

    Again, thank you for your time. Please let me know how I can support your cause. I appreciate what you do.

    Kind regards,

    • CB: I’m sorry to be so slow responding to your question. I believe I said earlier that I would be willing to live in the north Golden area you mention. The high school is in a more questionable location, being not only further north but also east, and thus in an area contaminated to some extent. It’s in the area that Carl Johnson, in a study he did in 1981, showed had excess cancer compared to areas around Denver not contaminated with plutonium. You can read details about his work at http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org/leroy-moores-blog/papers-by-leroy-moore-phd-2/democracy-and-public-health-at-rocky-flats-11-6-12/ In a situation like the high school, where there’s so much uncertainty, I’d prefer not to take chances, especially with my children. I’d look for another school, maybe in Golden itself.

      Best, LeRoy Moore

  30. please advise next meeting.
    pat moss

  31. Pat: We meet every Tuesday, 12-2 PM, outdoors at tables at west end of Lucky’s Market, 3970 Broadway at Qunce in Boulder. If the weather is bad, we go to China Gourmet restaurant, directly behind Lucky’s Market. We eat lunch and work together. In addition are occasional evening meetings. The next one is 7-9 PM at Alfalfa’s Community Room, which you reach by stairs at south of the Alfalfa’s main entrance. Alfalfa’s is on Arapahoe at Broadway. You’re welcome to come to either. My email is .


  32. […] his blog, and in a guest opinion in the Daily Camera, Moore urged that public access to the Flats refuge […]

  33. Hello Leroy. I am writing concerning the proximity of Rocky Flats to Eldorado Canyon. I have been drawn to this area for several years and believe it to be one of the prettiest in Colorado. I Mentioned this in a conversation to Dr. Harvey Nichols and he recommended not recreating South of Boulder much at all because of Rotating winds at night that reverse the usual west to east patterns. Yet all the research I have done points to little or no contamination of the state park in regards to Plutonium. I did see some reports with naturally occurring Tritium and Uranium in the Eldo canyon area but nothing much else. Do you think that Eldorado Mountain somehow proved a ‘buffer’ to any possible contamination in regards to wind patterns at night? I have seen some odd signs in Eldorado springs of strange tumors on cats and Tree stumps with excessive tumors but Im sure that can occur anywhere. The only thing I can figure is possibly this is from mice that are eaten by the cats that came in from the Rocky flats area? Either way Id love to hear your thoughts on if you think Eldo is in a pretty good place and quite possibly “buffered” from the lions share of possible contamination from plutonium wind, etc. Thank you for your work and time.



    • Hello T:

      By far the great majority of contamination from Rocky Flats was carried to areas east and southeast of the site. The wind does reverse itself at night, but does not blow as strongly toward the west and northwest. According to a wind rose diagram for Rocky Flats wind to the NE from the site blows at an average rate of 6 mph 12% of the time, while to the southeast it blows at an average rate of 8 mph 18% of the time. Toward the east it blows at an average rate of 12 mph 23% of the time. There is probably some plutonium in the northeast direction (Eldorado Canyon), there would be much more to the east and southeast. In the 1970s, during the height of production, Harvey Nichols found tiny particles of plutonium all over the Rocky Flats site, including on east of the plant.

      I hope this helps.

      LeRoy Moore

  34. I would recon that Eldorado Canyon being a state park would at least have permanent monitors seeing as how its the closest natural treasure to Rocky Flats. The Town and State park are very special and lovely. It seems so much has been focused south & eastward of Rocky flats (deservedly so) that almost next to nothing is being Monitored towards the Northwest or west in general. Subdivisions and houses can be moved, sold off or demolished. It displaces people but where resilient. Eldorado Canyon is too Amazing of a place not to get at least a bit more attention and protection.

    • So far as I know, there has never been any monitoring for radioactive material at Eldorado Canyon. Limited soil monitoring was done at a trailhead on the west side of Hwy 93 not far south of the road that leads into Eldorado Canyon. The samples collected there were taken by Ward Whicker of Colorado State University, now retired. He found a very small quantity of plutonium at that location.

      If you think sampling should be done in the state park, request that it be done either by the EPA or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  35. Thanks LeRoy! Ill look into contacting the EPA or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  36. Hi Mr. Moore,
    My family and I are considering buying a house on 75th and Simms. We have a 10 month old. We are wondering if you would consider this to be a safe place to buy with consideration to the Rocky Flatts wildlife refuge?
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Hilary Smith

  37. LeRoy,

    This is Thom McClendon, son of Jim and Marie. Something made me think of you recently and I (again) read what I could find about you and your work online. You have led a very inspiring life. The story of your instinctive nonviolent reaction to your father’s abuse (and your forgiving discussion of his violence) is quite amazing.

    I hope all is well with you. If your daughters still remember me, please say hello. I live (with my wife) near Austin. If you ever get this way, let us know. More likely, we will get to Boulder at some point (though I haven’t been there since I was 9!), and if so I will try to track you down.

    • Thom:

      What surprise to hear from you. My daughters live far away — Jerri in NC and Terri in Florida. I never get to Texas these days, though my brother lives in Austin as does his son. My email is .

      Very cold this morning. We had about 3 inches of snow overnight.

      Happy holidays to you, LeRoy

  38. I am bewildered how any thinking American can possibly consider casting their precious vote for Donald J. Trump.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: