Full Body Burden
Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats
Kristen Iversen

Crown Publishers
Hardcover/416 pages
ISBN: 9780307955630
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". . . an amazing book that will haunt you . . ."

This is truly an amazing book that will haunt you for many days and nights to come…beginning with the actual definition of the title. “Full Body Burden” is defined as the amount of radioactive material present in a human body, which acts as an internal and ongoing source of radiation.

This author grew up in the shadow of a nuclear facility located near Denver, Colorado in the 1960’s. In charge of manufacturing triggers that would set off a chain reaction in an atomic bomb, this particular facility remained a secret government project the entire time it was spewing out death over the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape. According to the government ‘powers that be,’ the emissions from this ‘compound’ were not overly dangerous. Therefore, seeing as the plant was not subject to state laws, the townspeople were never told that the triggers being manufactured contained enough breathable particles of plutonium to kill every living person on earth.

It has been said by the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) that the Los Alamos facility located in New Mexico was the ‘brains’ of nuclear weaponry, and Rocky Flats just made the components to go in them. What was not mentioned was that sometime in the future many people would be dead and buried because of what was being created in this beautiful countryside in order to protect U.S. citizens from an attack made by our enemies. Oddly enough, for many, we would be their actual killer.

This is not only a factual book and study on the facility, itself, but also a beautiful memoir about her family; how Mom, Dad and four children lived in this place that looked so peaceful on the outside, but had a shocking amount of government cover-up wrapped around it in order to conceal the fact that radioactive waste was all around. Various people are discussed, from ones who were very ill and trying to collect some kind of compensation for the cancers they suffered; to others who thought they were absolute patriots for taking part in building the bombs that would destroy our enemies.

Ever since Marie Curie first discovered Radium, and Robert Oppenheimer first announced, I am the bringer of death – nuclear ‘research’ has continued to move forward. And even though the compound at Rocky Flats is no more, the memories of these horrific experiences will remain, as will the particles of waste that could still kill animal and human alike.

This author presents an unforgettable read!

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor