b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEremoved and replaced. Nuclear experi- Twice a week, someone went to all of When the first trench was full, a coverments generated contaminated debris the reactor buildings and labs, emptied of earth went over it and it was plantedand machinery, some of it in large and the radioactive waste bins, boxed the with native grasses. Another wasawkward shapes. Discarded pipe fit- contents, and trucked the load to the opened, and then another, each locationtings resulted from the repair of lines Burial Ground. Cardboard was suffi- identified with the help of tags placedthat had carried contaminated fluids. cient for regular items, but wooden on the perimeter fence. The first trenchStructural metal that once had been part crating was used for bulky larger items. served until October 1954. 11of an irradiated fuel assembly had to be An HP went with the truck driver anddiscarded. It all went to the Burial took radiation readings near the waste One trench every one or two yearsGround. 9 containers and in the cab of the truck. might have met local needs at theLike everyone else, trash haulers were NRTS, but the AEC had a problemnot allowed to exceed daily radiation elsewhere that intruded into IDO plans.dose limits. If a load, such as one con- In 1951 President Truman and thetaining metal parts that had become defense establishment decided that theradioactive in the neutron environment nations security required enlarging itsof a reactor, had too high a reading, the stockpile of nuclear weapons. Theydriver used shielded containers and began building new weapons produc-hauled them behind his pick-up truck tion plants around the country, one ofon a long-tongued trailer. These loads them the AECs Rocky Flats Fuelwere then transferred from the truck to Fabricating Facility near Golden,their burial place with the help of Colorado, about sixteen miles north-cranes. Depending on how strong the west of Denver.radiation, workers covered the loadwith earth immediately or waited until The plant went under construction inINEEL 62-2132 the end of the week. The Burial Ground 1951 and began operating in 1952. HereAbove. Open trenches occasionally became was designated for solids only, but a the AEC manufactured hollow plutoni-susceptible to flooding from rapid snowmelt or few sealed containers of liquid appar- um spheres that served as trigger devicesheavy rains. Below. Workers check radioactivity at a ently found their way into the first for nuclear warheads. Rocky Flatslong-tongued trailer. trench. 10 machine shops also made other weaponINEEL 097687 8'