Former US Nuclear Center Now a Wildlife Refuge
A former nuclear weapons center is now a wildlife refuge.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service officially opened the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado last week. The factory made plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs for nearly 40 years.
The new wildlife refuge is about 26 kilometers northwest of Denver, Colorado's capital. The refuge is generally on flat land and covered with tall grass. It is home to bears, elk, falcons, songbirds and hundreds of other animals. Visitors to the area can enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains and some of Denver's tallest buildings.
Jerry Jacka spent two hours riding his bicycle at the refuge last week. He says he was not worried about his safety. He told the Associated Press, "I don't believe that they're covering up any sort of information about pollutants and radioactive elements and stuff in the soil."
The federal government built plutonium triggers at Rocky Flats from 1952 to 1989. During that period, there were a number of fires, leaks and spills at the factory. It was closed after a criminal investigation into environmental violations.
The U.S. Energy Department said it found 28 kilograms of plutonium stuck in airways inside factory buildings.
Over the years, Rocky Flats' operations were under the control of a number of businesses, including Rockwell International. In 1992, a court ordered Rockwell to pay a fine of $18.5 million after it admitted guilt to charges that included mishandling chemical and radioactive material.
The weapons factory covered five square kilometers at the center of the property. The area was cleaned up at a cost of $7 billion, but people are still barred from going there. The 21-square-kilometer area surrounding the factory was given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a wildlife refuge.
About 16 kilometers of walkways are now open at the refuge. Visitors are told to stay on the paths and not go into the grasslands.
State and federal health officials say the area is safe. But some people worry that plutonium particles could have escaped and are still on the property. Some are concerned that visitors could unsettle the particles or bring them home. At least seven Denver-area school districts have banned school field trips to the refuge.
Plutonium can get trapped in lung tissue, where it can kill lung cells and damage the tissue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the tissue damage can lead to lung disease and cancer.
Jon Simon rode his mountain bike on the refuge trails last week. Simon says he did not think he would develop plutonium-related health problems. But he worries that children might be at risk.
"I wouldn't want to walk my kid through here every day in the morning for our morning walk or something like that," he said.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.nuclear weapons 核武器
He campaigned for peace and against the spread of nuclear weapons.
2.mountain bike 山地车
I used to mountain bike in Griffith park.
3.at risk 处于...危险
The doctor must not allow the patient to be put at risk.
4.At least 至少
He's been away for at least a week.
5.Over the years, Rocky Flats' operations were under the control of a number of businesses, including Rockwell International.
under the control of 受...控制
Humanity has been under the control of a power for sometime.
Among them, 12 assemblages area of heavy minerals were formed under the control of lithological and tidal current.
6.Over the years, Rocky Flats' operations were under the control of a number of businesses, including Rockwell International.
a number of 若干；一些
We have lived here quite a number of years.
The police rounded up a number of suspects.
上周，美国鱼类和野生动物管理局正式开放科罗拉多州洛基弗拉茨（Rocky Flasts）国家野生动物保护区 。这家工厂用了近40年的时间制造核弹的钚触发器 。
这处新动物保护区位于科罗拉多州首府丹佛市西北约26公里处 。该保护区总体上看地势平坦，草木丛生 。这里是熊、麋鹿、猎鹰和鸣禽等数百种动物的家园 。游客可以一览落基山脉以及丹佛高层建筑的美景 。
上周，杰瑞·杰卡（Jerry Jacka）在该保护区骑行了两个小时 。他表示，并不担心自己的人身安全 。他告诉美联社：“我认为他们不会隐瞒任何有关土壤中污染物、放射性元素和物质等信息 。”
1952年到1989年，联邦政府在洛基弗拉茨制造钚触发器 。期间，工厂曾发生过多次火灾和泄漏和溢流事故 。在对环境违法行为进行刑事调查后，该工厂被关闭 。
多年来，洛基弗拉茨的经营都处于罗克韦尔国际等多家企业的控制下 。1992年，在罗克韦尔公司对化学和放射性物质处理不当的指控认罪后，法院判决该公司支付1850万美元的罚款 。
该武器工厂占地5平方公里，位于该园区的中心区域 。该地区的清理工作耗资70亿美元，但是人们仍然被禁止前往那里 。作为野生动物保护区，工厂周边21平方公里的区域交由美国鱼类和野生动物管理局 。
目前，该保护区约16公里的人行道已经开放 。游客们被告知只能呆在人行道，切勿进入草原 。
州和联邦卫生官员表示，该地区是安全的 。但是有些民众担心，钚粒子可能会泄露并残留在该园区 。有些人担心游客可能会扰乱钚粒子，或将其带回家 。丹佛地区至少7个学区禁止到该保护区进行实地考察 。
钚可能会进入肺组织，它会杀死肺细胞并破坏肺组织 。美国疾病控制和预防中心表示，这种组织损伤会引发肺部疾病和癌症 。
上周，乔恩·西蒙（Jon Simon）骑山地车前往该保护区 。西蒙表示，他认为自己不会患上跟钚相关的疾病 。不过，他担心儿童可能会面临这种风险 。