ROCKY HORROR SHOW

WHY CAN'T ROCKY FLATS' PLUTONIUM BE CLEANED UP? IT'S AGAINST THE RULES

AS A LONGTIME BUREAUcrat, Mark Silverman knows the usual rules of the game: cover your flanks, avoid making decisions, bury all problems under layers of paperwork. As the manager of the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant, though, Silverman also knows he's sitting on a time bomb. Until production was stopped in 1989, the plant--just 16 miles from downtown Denver, Colorado--manufactured plutonium components for the nation's nuclear weapons. Enough radioactive waste remains on the premises to cover a football field to a depth of 20 ft.

Silverman, a West Point--trained engineer, had no question about how to proceed at Rocky...

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