OT: Some Paducah workers were used in uranium experiments

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This is y2k relevant because it's another illustration of how deep the level of government lies and deceptions goes. If they'll expose us to potentially lethal levels of radiation, do you think they won't lie about y2k?

Some Paducah workers were used in uranium experiments

By Associated Press, 2/6/2000 21:57

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Some workers at a federal uranium processing plant participated in experiments in the 1950s that had them breathing the radioactive element, The Courier-Journal reported Sunday.

Some of the participants at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant volunteered for the tests, but some may not have been informed of the dangers, according to a draft report by the Department of Energy on an investigation of health, safety and environmental problems at the western Kentucky plant.

In one experiment, staff members volunteered to breathe a radioactive gas to see how quickly uranium was excreted in their urine, according to the report.

In other tests, a senior staffer drank a solution containing uranium, and at least 14 workers tested the effectiveness of respirators against radioactive dust, gas and smoke, according to the report.

A copy of the report was obtained by The Courier-Journal.

Although the general dangers of radiation were known at the time of the experiments, its interactions with the human body were not entirely understood. Many believed that uranium dust and byproducts of the enrichment process posed little or no hazard for humans.

The draft report also says wholesale pollution of the air, ground and water around the plant in quantities that may have been significantly underreported may have exposed residents to radiation.

When asked about the report, Energy Department officials said only that it was under review. The Paducah plant has been managed by the department, as well as by predecessor federal agencies and private contractors.

The report details a range of problems at Paducah from 1952 to 1990. For years, investigators found, workers were not always told of the dangers they faced working with highly toxic radioactive materials. And their families may have been exposed when workers took contaminated clothing home to be laundered.

Vast amounts of uranium-contaminated smoke, steam and gas were vented into the open air sometimes secretly in what employees called ''midnight negatives.'' Inside some buildings, workers were exposed to unplanned releases and leaks of radioactive gases and hazardous chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid, the report said.

The department began its review after a lawsuit by three employees alleged that former plant operators Lockheed Martin Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. had profited by lying to the government about the extent of environmental pollution and worker exposure to radiation.

The investigators said that although measured exposures to radiation were high by today's standards, total exposures were comparable to those occurring at Defense Department facilities, commercial nuclear power plants and other DOE factories.

However, documents showed that, during the 1950s, 40 to 60 workers sought medical help every four months after exposure to accidental releases of uranium, hydrogen fluoride and fluorine.

In a companion story focusing on a feed mill at the Paducah plant, The Courier-Journal reported that workers were exposed to radiation levels so high it was possible for a worker to be exposed to as much radiation in one day as was then considered safe for an entire year.

The paper cited a newly released report, dated Feb. 21, 1961, that contained data on radiation emissions. During a typical week, about 60 to 70 men worked round the clock in four shifts in the feed plant, producing fluorine from hydrofluoric acid and combining the lethal gas with uranium powder. The feed mill was closed in the late 1970s. [



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 07, 2000



-- (kb8umw@yahoo.com), February 07, 2000.

Disgraceful experiments were commonplace at the time and secrets were kept until the last decade or so when what's her name secretary of energy started issuing information and doing whatever SHE did that was unethical.

But lets start with the tests on Bikini, with native ethnics in the area and U.S. servicemen being exposed to high doses of radiation. There is no doubt that our government--like most historical governments--lied and deceived. That's the nature of these things and why we have to keep aware. Also why we didn't believe the government this last year. Why should we have?

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), February 07, 2000.

And it all continues with Gulf War Illness cover-up and the ANTHRAX VACCINE issue. Saw the writing on the wall when investigating this 2.5 years ago and put up this website and finally people are paying attention - anyone see 60 Minutes last night on this?

People are getting sick right and left! Common factor - anthrax vaccine.

Anthrax Vaccine Dangers on my website LINK

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), February 07, 2000.

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