Full Body Burden is a historical and personal memoir of Kristen Iversen growing up next to one of the world’s most notorious nuclear bomb factory, Rocky Flats. From 1953 to 1990, Rocky Flats built over 70 thousand plutonium bomb triggers for high capacity nuclear hydrogen bombs. Plutonium bomb triggers are in itself nuclear bombs that contain more deadly force than Fat Man, the plutonium bomb that the US dropped on Nagasaki.
Kristen Iversen weaves a haunting story of suburban life next to one of the most dangerous places on earth as if it were a Spielberg summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, Full Body Burden is not fiction; the book is a true life account of Cold War secrecy. Rocky Flats was run by Dow Chemical Corporation and many of the residents that lived near the plant in Arvada, Golden, and Boulder, Colorado thought the factory was making household cleaning supplies. But why would a house hold chemical factory need guard towers and rows of barbed wire fence being patrolled with tanks? Slowly the secret came that Rocky Flats was dealing with plutonium due to a fire that broke out in the plant in 1957 and once again in 1969. Iversen goes into details of her families personal secrets along with the clandestine operations of Rocky Flats.
Low levels and high amounts of plutonium have been found in the ground and water ways that feed the towns of Arvada, Broomfield and Westminster. Full Body Burden goes into detail of farmers’ mutated livestock and young girls dying of large malignant tumors while the government denies that Rocky Flats has anything to do with these increasingly large numbers or illnesses.
In 1989, Rocky Flats was the only US government plant that was raided by the FBI and the EPA for gross negligence of environmental contamination. The Cold War may have ended-but not in Colorado. The earth around Rocky Flats is still contaminated; there are still large amounts of strange cancers that are killing people, but the US government is fighting tooth and nail to keep full accountability closed.