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It is the early 1950s. Kristen Iversen is enjoying a carefree childhood surrounded by desert and mountains. But just a few miles down the road, the US government decides to build a secret nuclear weapons facility at Rocky Flats. Kirsten and her siblings jump streams, ride horses, live a happy outdoors life. But beneath this veneer her family is quietly falling apart. Her father drinks, her mother copes. And in a series of fires, accidents and other catastrophic leaks, Rocky Flats nuclear plant is spewing an invisible cocktail of the most dangerous substances on earth into this pristine landscape. The ground, the air and the water are all alive with radiation. The years that follow will bring protests, investigations, denials, cover-ups, threats and lies. And then, one after another, people start to fall ill.
Mankind has a seven-decade long relationship with nuclear technology, from the bomb to nuclear accidents to nuclear waste. While concern about climate change has led some environmentalists to embrace renewable energy sources, others have expressed a renewed interest in nuclear power as an alternative source of carbon-neutral energy. But can humanity handle the risks involved? Pearce traveled the globe to uncover the environmental and psychological landscapes created since the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Should we be burdening future generations with radioactive waste that will be deadly for thousands of years? -- adapted from publisher info
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