Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Patty Limerick

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Alex Lee

Fourth Advisor

Sarah Rogers


This project investigated the ethicality of the remediation of the Rocky Flats Plant, a former plutonium weapons production facility located northwest of Denver, Colorado. Often times governmental institutions such as the Department of Energy are not held to an ethical standard for their remediation projects either before or after completion. Without the constant evaluation and appraisal of the Department of Energy’s remediation projects we could end up in a situation where the DOE cuts corners and lowers their standard of operation. In order to combat this issue, I have analyzed the numerous aspects of the Rocky Flats remediation project, and compared the actions performed with the stated ethics of the Department of Energy, the organization responsible for remediation. This paper seeks to answer the question: How does the determination of the Rocky Flats Plant site as “safe” align with the stated ethics, or mission statements, of the organizations responsible for the cleanup and management of the site? After conducting the necessary research, I have concluded that the Department of Energy’s remediation project did in fact align with the stated ethics of the organization.