In the early 1950s, men from the government decide to build a secret nuclear weapons facility at Rocky Flats. Its job will be to refine plutonium and mould it into the triggers at the heart of every one of the country's nuclear weapons. Decades later, it will be branded 'the most contaminated site in America'.
A few miles down the road, Kristen Iversen is enjoying a carefree, outdoor childhood in a sublime setting of desert and mountains. She and her siblings jump streams, ride horses, live a happy outdoors life. But beneath this veneer the family is quietly falling apart. Her father drinks, her mother copes. And in a series of fires, accidents and other catastrophic leaks, Rocky Flats 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.
Full Body Burden is a brilliant work of investigative journalism and a searing memoir. It is a book about secrets: the small ones families hide from each other and the even more dangerous ones governments hide from us.