The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun

Officials merit praise for work to help diffusion plant workers

EDITOR: It is rare that we, as citizens, acknowledge or express our gratitude in positive ways for the good work our elected government leaders do for and on behalf of their constituents.

The purpose of this letter is to publicly acknowledge and thank our elected officials for their persistent effort to arrange for the government's recognition of the problems and health concerns of the workers, past and present, and their families who have suffered from their employment at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Sens. McConnell, Bunning and Congressman Whitfield deserve our most profound thanks for their dedication and hard work on our behalf.

I wish to also thank and recognize the dedicated work of Mr. James Chesnut, who was employed by P.A.C.E. International Union at the beginning of the former workers' health protection project at the gaseous diffusion plant.

Due to censorship with any news media without authorization of international coordination in Denver, Colo., Jim found that such a crippling rule would inhibit his ability to adequately provide information to past employees in the four-state area.

He resigned as of September 1999, just after news was released of excessively high radiation on the premises of the Paducah plant. This action was taken because he felt he could be of a greater service if he was not hampered in any way as a retired worker to help widows and family members of retired workers to contact him. He has continued at his own expense, out of moral obligation, to aid the process by sending out forms and helping to get medical records and data that would enable them to receive compensation if and when the final bill is passed.