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James Stone papers

Identifier: COU:1533

Scope and Contents

The James Stone papers consists of Rocky Flats Cleanup Commission documents, local organizational material, legal documents from the whistle-blower fraud case against Rockwell International and other research information.


  • Creation: 1980 - 2004

Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains or may contain private and personally identifiable information (PPII). Researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement in advance of access to collection materials. Contact for more information.

Copyright Statement

The University Libraries may not own the copyright to all materials in this collection. Researchers are responsible for contacting the copyright holder(s) for this material and obtaining permission to publish or broadcast. The University Libraries will not grant permission to publish or broadcast this material and are not responsible for copyright violations resulting from such use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers may not make notes, reproductions (including photographs), or other record of any private and personally identifiable information (PPII) located in this collection and may not publish, publicize, or disclose that PPII to any other party for any purpose. Exclusions may apply to researchers who have obtained authorization from the University of Colorado Institutional Review Board to produce human subject research records in de-identified form. All researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement indicating their understanding of the use restrictions for PPII found in this collection. Contact

Biographical / Historical

James Stone (1925-2007) was an engineer at Rocky Flats from 1980 to 1986. While there he noticed and raised concerned about environmental hazards such as missing plutonium, broken pressure valves, and issues with beryllium. After he was let go he became an important source of allegation for the FBI warrant, specifically that Rockwell was incinterating waste at night. Stone was the first insider to give details into the sites’ radioactive pollution. With the assistance of the details he gave, the FBI was able to lead a raid and investigation into a number of violations at the Plant. The FBI investigation ultimately led to Plant’s closure in 1989. Stone went on to file a whistle-blower fraud case against the site contractor, Rockwell International, and won over $4 million in damages for the federal government. After nearly 18 years of litigation, in 2007 the Supreme Court ultimately ruled Rockwell owed damages to the federal government but denied Stone a $1 million dollar share of those damages. After the closure of Rocky Flats, Stone assisted on the Rocky Flats Cleanup Commission as an active member of stewarding the site’s environment.

The Rocky Flats plant was built in 1951 and operated by Dow Chemical through a contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) which later became the Department of Energy (DOE). The plant processed plutonium and manufactured bombs that were the successors to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. These plutonium bombs are used to detonate or “trigger” much more powerful thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs. During the plant’s operation, there were two major fires in 1957 and 1969. During the late 1960s and 1970s peace activist and environmental groups protested the plant’s continued operations. Facing concerns over mismanagement, including concerns over the how the plant was disposing of waste, the AEC ended the contract with Dow Chemical and began a contract with Rockwell International. After continuing concerns over waste management on the environment and the effects on a growing Denver population, the FBI began investigating plant activities, resulting in an FBI/Environmental Protection Agency raid on the plant in 1989. With the end of the Cold War and continued environmental concerns, the plant’s weapons manufacturing mission ended in 1992 and a lengthy cleanup began under EG&C and then Kaiser-Hill under contracts with the DOE. About 80 percent of the 10-square-mile site was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007.


183 linear feet (123 Boxes)

Language of Materials



James Stone, an engineer at Rocky Flats, was on the Rocky Flats Cleanup Commission, and a longtime collector on Rocky Flats material. He kept many of the RRCC records, as well as records from his False Claims Act case against the DOE.


This collection remains in the original order in which it was recieved from the donor. It has not been arranged physically or intellectually.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in boxes 126 and 127 were recieved from Bob Stone, son of James Stone, in 2023 August (COU 2023-23).

Processing Information

This collection is unprocessed. The current inventory reflects the folder or publication titles in the order they arrived from the creator. A second acquisition was recieved in August 2023 of VHS tapes and DVDs which are also unprocessed.

Preliminary Inventory by Kana Pearce, encoded by Aaron Rodriguez and Ashlyn Velte.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States