It’s been said that if the brains of the US nuclear bomb effort was Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, then Rocky Flats was the muscle. The plant was just outside Denver and Boulder, and opened in 1952. Workers there used plutonium to make the heart of nuclear weapons. The plant was veiled in Cold War secrecy and, early on, a lot of people didn’t know what went on there. That includes folks who’d moved into the burgeoning neighborhoods nearby, like author Kristen Iversen. She grew up in Arvada, and eventually took a desk job at the plant. Now, she's written a book about those experiences, called "Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats." It's part memoir, part investigation. She speaks with Ryan Warner.

You can see maps of contaminated areas near the Rocky Flats plant (and Denver) here.

[Photo: courtesy Kristen Iversen]