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IPFS News Link • Environment

Reclaimed Land

• by Lauren Steele

The Raid

Dominick "Dom" Sanchini wasn't sorry until he got caught.

He was, at the time, a third-year manager at Rocky Flats Plant, a nuclear weapons facility in Colorado that produced around 70,000 plutonium triggers and other hazardous components for nuclear weapons made in the United States through the end of the Cold War. On his watch, Sanchini, who'd been hired by Rockwell International, a government contractor, signed off on spills, leaks, burns, and other unlawful waste disposal practices at the plant—nominally reconciled as "incidents"—in the name of expanding America's nuclear arsenal.

But sitting in his office on June 6, 1989, surrounded by more than 70 agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Environmental Protection Agency during an official raid on Rocky Flats, Sanchini realized he'd been found out for causing what would amount to billions of dollars worth of contamination. People were getting hurt as a result. And he'd been lying to officials about it all along.