Plutonium and the Rio Grande: Environmental Change and Contamination in the Nuclear Age

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byWilliam L. Graf

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The first atomic bombs were constructed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where lab workers disposed of waste plutonium in nearby canyons leading to the Rio Grande. Today, the environmental consequences are just beginning to be understood as scientists examine the effects created by pastmishandling of one of the most toxic chemical wastes known. Written in an engaging, accessible style, Plutonium and the Rio Grande is the first book to offer a complete exploration of this environmental history. It includes an explanation of what plutonium is, how much of it was released by the LosAlamos workers, and how much entered the river system directly from waste disposal and indirectly, as a result of atomic bomb fallout. The book includes extensive appendices, maps, diagrams, and photographs. Environmental managers, ecologists, hydrologists and other river specialists, as well asconcerned general readers will find the book readable and informative.

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The first atomic bombs were constructed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where lab workers disposed of waste plutonium in nearby canyons leading to the Rio Grande. Today, the environmental consequences are just beginning to be understood as scientists examine the effects created by pastmishandling of one of the most toxic chemica...

William L. Graf is at Arizona State University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:356 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195089332

ISBN - 13:9780195089332

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Related Research2. Plutonium and Los Alamos3. The Northern Rio Grande4. Fluvial Sediment, Forms and Processes5. Engineering Works6. Riparian Vegetation7. Plutonium Sources in the Rio Grande System8. Annual Plutonium Budget for the Rio Grande9. Plutonium Storage Upstream from Cochiti10. Plutonium Storage Near Albuquerque11. Simulation of Sediment and Plutonium Dynamics12. General Lessons and Conclusions

Editorial Reviews

"Persons with little training in environmental matters will have no difficulty with this book, and, indeed, will find it most instructive and insightful. . . .If ever anyone needed evidence of stream dynamics, she or he would need go no further than this book. Plutonium is its explicitsubject. Implicitly, though, the book is every bit about the general dynamics of biophysical environments. It is geography at its very best."--Annals of the Association of American Geographers