Nuclear Guardianship

What Is Nuclear Guardianship?

Nuclear Guardianship combines art, science, and remembrance to address the seemingly intractable human-caused problem of nuclear contamination with wisdom and creativity. Based on the pioneering work of eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Rocky Flats: A Call to Guardianship applies the ideas and ideals of Nuclear Guardianship at the site of the now closed Rocky Flats nuclear weapons manufacturing plant near Boulder, Colorado.

Nuclear Guardianship Ethic

(created ca. 1990, revised July 2011)

  1. Each generation shall endeavor to preserve the foundations of life and well-being for those who come after. To produce and abandon substances that damage following generations is morally unacceptable.

  2. Given the extreme toxicity and longevity of radioactive materials, their production must cease. The development of safe, renewable energy sources and non-violent means of conflict resolution is essential to the health and survival of life on Earth. Radioactive materials are not to be regarded as an economic or military resource.

  3. We accept responsibility for the radioactive materials mined and produced for our alleged benefit.

  4. Future generations have the right to know about their nuclear legacy and the dangers it brings.

  5. Future generations have the right to protect themselves from these dangers. Therefore, it is our responsibility to pass on the information they will need, such as the nature and effects of radiation, and methods for monitoring and containing it. We acknowledge that deep burial of radioactive materials precludes these possibilities and risks widespread contamination.

  6. Transport of radioactive materials, with its inevitable risks of accidents and spills, should be undertaken only when storage conditions at the site of production pose a greater hazard than transportation.

  7. Research and development of technologies for the least hazardous long-term treatment and placement of nuclear materials should receive high priority in public attention and funding.

  8. Education of the public about the character, source, and containment of radioactive materials is essential for the health of present and future generations. This education should promote understanding of the interconnectedness of all life forms and a grasp of the extraordinary time spans for which containment is required.

  9. The formation of policies for managing radioactive materials requires full participation of the public. For this purpose, the public must have ready access to complete and comprehensible information.

  10. The vigilance necessary for ongoing containment of radioactive materials requires a moral commitment. This commitment is within our capacity, and can be developed and sustained by drawing on the cultural and spiritual resources of our human heritage.

The Nuclear Guardianship Ethic is proposed as an evolving expression of values to guide decision-making on the management of radioactive materials.

Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardians for more information:

Take action today!

April 23rd, Broomfield City Council 

  • When:  Tuesday April 23rd, 6:00pm 
  • Where:  George Di Ciero City and County Building 1 DesCombes Drive Broomfield, CO 80020 
  • Email the Broomfield City Council at: 


  • JPPHA is asking Broomfield for $2.5 million to help fund the Jefferson Parkway. Broomfield City Council will be discussing whether to approve this in their budget at the meeting on 4/23/19.  

April 24th, Rocky Flats Right To Know Meeting 

  • When:  Wednesday April 24th, 7:00pm 
  • Where:  Trinity Presbyterian Church 7755 Vance Dr, Arvada, Colorado 80003 


  • Join us for a special evening with LeRoy Moore! During the meeting Dr. Moore will read excerpts from his new book, Plutonium & People Don’t Mix; discuss current issues at Rocky Flats; and welcome questions. The meeting will be followed by a book signing. Books will be for sale at the meeting. All proceeds will go to the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. Light refreshments will be provided.  
  • Please RSVP on Facebook or by emailing


By Wes McKinley and Caron Balkany, Esq.

The Ambushed Grand Jury is the true story of four Citizen Investigators who uncover the Justice Department’s cover-up of deadly radioactive contamination at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant.

By Kristen Iversen

Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” It’s the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and—unknown to those who lived there—tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.

By Joseph Daniel

A Year of Disobedience and a Criticality of Conscience is a beautiful updated edition of the original photo-documentary on the demonstrations, civil disobedience, arrests, and trials of thousands of people against the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant during the one-year period between April 29, 1978 and April 28, 1979.

More Information

Rocky Flats Downwinders:

Rocky Flats Right to Know:

Candelas Glows:

Alliance for Nuclear Accountability:

The Colorado Coalition:


The best way to find out more about the Joanna Macy Center at Naropa is to join our mailing list and attend our events. For any other questions please contact Program Manager, Seann Goodman.

Search Naropa University



This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields