Learn about compensation and benefits for sick workers.
Nuclear weapon detonators
The Rocky Flats Plant was located 16 miles outside of Denver and began operation under a contract with Dow Chemical in April of 1952. The site’s primary mission was the production of plutonium “triggers” or “pits;” crucial to the detonation of nuclear weapons. Due to the urgency and hastiness of the nuclear arms race, employee safety and hazardous waste containment were frequently overlooked. Rocky Flats has a notorious history of safety incidents, missing plutonium and leaky containers.
Under new contract with Rockwell International, the site was raided by the FBI/EPA in 1989 for environmental and safety violations. In 1993, the EPA formally ended the plant’s nuclear weapon production. The site was renamed Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site and a massive cleanup project began, which lasted till 2005. The site is now home to a wildlife preserve. Controversy around the effectiveness of the cleanup effort and sick former employees continue to surround the discussion of the Rocky Flats Plant.
Rocky Flats added to Special Exposure Cohort
In October 2013 Rocky Flats workers were made eligible to file EEOICP claims as part of the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). SEC is a designation given to specific work sites or groups of workers that allow them to be compensated without having to prove a link between their exposure and illness. Those who qualify for SEC have a much better chance of a fast and successful claim.
To qualify for SEC one must have:
- Worked at Rocky Flats Plant from April 1, 1952 through December 31, 1983 for at least a total of 250 work days. If you accumulated work days at other SEC designated sites or SEC groups those days may also be counted towards the 250 days.
- Been diagnosed with one of 22 specified forms of cancer
More Information and Useful Links
- Rocky Flats Resource Center (Get help with questions and filing an EEOICP claim)
- Rocky Flats Institute & Museum
- Rocky Flats Workers on Facebook
- Rocky Flats Wikipedia Page
- NPR Rocky Flats Coverage
- Rocky Flats Stewardship Council
- Documentary on Rocky Flats & Employee Health
- Rocky Flats Benefit Payout Statistics
By Brian Carrigan