Former nuke site becomes wildlife refuge

July 14, 2007

The U.S. government's Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production site in Colorado has been named a National Wildlife Refuge.

The land is being turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after more than a decade of environmental cleanup work.

The Rocky Flats Plant, 16 miles northwest of Denver, manufactured the trigger mechanism for nearly every nuclear weapon in the United States from 1951-89. The government said the site water, air and soil was contaminated with plutonium, uranium, beryllium and hazardous chemical compounds.

A 10-year environmental cleanup of the site cost approximately $7 billion.

"With the transfer of nearly 4,000 acres from the Department of Energy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in order to conserve the rare and unique tallgrass prairie found along Colorado's Front Range," U.S. Department of Interior's Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service H. Dale Hall said in a release.

The Energy Department will retain approximately 1,300 acres in the center of the site for long-term surveillance and maintenance.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Belize's Glover's Reef providing refuge for new generation of sea turtles

Related Stories

How a researcher discovered a completely undocumented whale

November 30, 2016

One evening in November 2013, the noted whale researcher Salvatore Cerchio sat down to dinner with his team of scientists on Nosy Iranja, a small island known for its white sands and turquoise waters that's located off the ...

Recommended for you

Scientists examine bacterium found 1,000 feet underground

December 8, 2016

Pioneering work being carried out in a cave in New Mexico by researchers at McMaster University and The University of Akron, Ohio, is changing the understanding of how antibiotic resistance may have emerged and how doctors ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.