Saturday, February 03, 2001

Paducah exposure records incomplete

The Associated Press

        PADUCAH, Ky. — A study concerning past radiation exposure at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is a best effort, considering notable gaps in records, an investigator said.

        “We recognize that as a shortcoming,” Rick Jones, the Department of Energy's lead investigator for the study, said during a briefing Thursday night.

        Nearly 200 people — employees or former employees and their families — attended the briefing.

        The DOE report, released last month, said 2,500 to 4,000 plant workers had jobs from 1952 to 1991 placing them in potentially high risk of radiation exposure. But important exposure-level records were missing, and much of the data collected were from interviewing current and former employees.

        Former employee Al Puckett said he once put his film badge, used to measure external radiation, in a highly radioactive area of the plant and the badge showed nothing. “One day, I took my badge apart and there was no film in there,” he said.

        Current plant health physicist Orville Cypret, who reviewed the report as a citizen and not as a U.S. Enrichment Corp. employee, said it had many errors, looked unprofessional and apparently did not undergo peer review before release. Despite that, Mr. Cypret said he agreed with “most of the conclusions.”

        The report confirms previous studies and statements by former workers about dangerous working conditions and procedures during the plant's early years. DOE officials say the intent was to identify former workers eligible for exposure-related benefits.


Powerball wants to add Ohio
Accomplice disputes killer's death-row appeal
County punishes probation officers
Judge's double-dipping called legal
NKU homecoming king needn't be he
'Senioritis' can cheat students' futures
Tailpipe deal may be struck for Ky.
New hormone-replacer called better
Ross High teen wins $20,000
SAMPLES: Land-grab law used unfairly
Thomas More reopens search for president
Westbound FWW to close for repair
Guard dies, 4 injured in prison van crash
Budget 'clouds' loom for mental health
Bunning, Lucas get assignments
Cabby wants city to let him deliver flowers
Child alerts family to flames in house
Common Pleas gains 2 judges
Defendants indicted in 3 cases
HOWARD: Hardee's helps with heat bills
Ice sends cars skidding
Kenton Co. tax protest suit grows
Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
Two on Mason council to step down
With year to go, attorney's race heats up
Coal firm would reopen pond that spilled
- Paducah exposure records incomplete
Prosecutor: No evidence of hazing