Radiation Experiments on Paducah H-Bomb Workers

PADUCAH, KY - Some workers who were used in radiation experiments at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant were not told of the dangers. For 40 years the facility processed trainloads of uranium powder for nuclear weapons. A draft report by the DOE says that experiments in the 1950s included breathing radioactive gases, drinking uranium solutions and testing respirators against radioactive dust, gas and smoke - sometimes without warning to or consent from the workers. The experiments came to light during a review of the factory's operations prompted by a shocking Washington Post expose. The Post reported on an employee lawsuit alleging that contractors Lockheed Martin and Martin Marietta profited by lying about the presence of plutonium in the uranium mix, about the venting and dumping of plutonium-contaminated waste outside the site boundaries, and about exposing thousands of workers to the deadly plutonium.

- Louisville, KY Courier-Journal, Feb. 6, 2000; Washington Post, Aug. 8, 1999.