Skip to main content

Joe Goldfield papers

Identifier: COU:666

Scope and Contents

The Joseph Goldfield Papers contain a number of issue papers written by Mr. Goldfield, and also issued papers written by LeRoy Moore. The guide will note the folders containing these issue papers.

The Joseph Goldfield Papers have been arranged as follows:

I. PERSONAL – Biography remembering Joseph Goldfield, written by LeRoy Moore.

II. ROCKY FLATS PLANT – Material concerning Joseph Goldfield’s time at the Rocky Flats plant while part of the Cleanup Commission.

III. IDAHO NATIONAL ENGINEERING & ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY (INEEL) – Material concerning Joseph Goldfield’s time with INEEL and the burning of plutonium waste.


  • Creation: 1987 - 2001

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

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.

Biographical Note

Joseph Goldfield (1918-2002) worked at the Manville Corporation for thirty one years. For twenty of those years he was the Manager of Environmental Engineering, and, in that capacity, responsible for remaining in compliance with ever-changing regulatory codes throughout the world at over one hundred mines, mills, and manufacturing plants.

In his career as an environmental engineer, Mr. Goldfield gained expertise in ovens and driers, kilns and process air systems, waste heat recovery, plant heating, and the design of dust and fume control systems, especially for asbestos fiber mining, milling, and manufacturing. He also had extensive experience with the filtration of particulates, gases, and also with high efficiency filters. In fact he held the patent on the HEAF filter and had been responsible for the engineering, purchase, and installation of one of the largest air handling systems was built.

Joseph Goldfield first appeared on the Rocky Flats scene in 1987 when a trial burn of plutonium-bearing waste in a fluidized-bed incinerator was proposed. He showed that no filter could prevent some particles of plutonium from escaping into the external environment. Plans for the trial burn ended. He also helped to stop a trial burn at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Next, Mr. Goldfield took up the cause of cleaning up Rocky Flats. As one of the original members of the Rocky Flats Cleanup Commission he authored many well-researched, clearly focused issue papers. He drew attention to the large quantity of plutonium at Rocky Flats by making educated guesses about the amount of plutonium stored there based on publicly available information. In 1996 after radionuclide soil action levels (RSALs) were set for Rocky Flats, Joseph Goldfield demonstrated that the plutonium in the soil levels was too high. This persuaded the Department of Energy to fund an independent scientific study of the RSALs. On the basis of the independent study, the RSAL Oversight Panel, with Joseph Goldfield a member, recommended a 95% reduction in the quantity of plutonium permitted to remain in soil at Rocky Flats. The government agencies involved in the process decided to recalculate the RSALs and set up the Rocky Flats Cleanup Agreement Focus Group. Joseph Goldfield remained an active participate in the group until late in 2001.


4 linear feet (8 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Joseph Goldfield (1918-2002), an employee of the Manville Corporation for 31 years, of which he was the Manager of Environmental Engineering for 20 years, had extensive experience with high efficiency air filters. In 1987 he helped prevent the proposed trial burn of plutonium-bearing waste in a fluidized-bed incinerator at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Later he helped to establish the radionuclide soil action levels in the clean up at Rocky Flats. The Joseph Goldfield Papers contain a number of issue papers written by Mr. Goldfield, and also issued papers written by LeRoy Moore.


This collection is arranged into the following series: Series 1: Personal, n.d. Series 2: Rocky Flats Plant, 1972-2000 Series 3: Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), 1988-2000 Series 3.1: Incineration of Plutonium-bearing Waste at Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Plant (AMWTP), n.d.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was given by LeRoy Moore in 2002.

Processed by: Harvey N. Gardiner, November 2002 Edited by: Christine Cardenas, March 2009 Edited by: Jon Horneber, March 10, 2011
November 2002
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