The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Friday, March 30, 2001

DOE confirms uranium reports
The study says some records are missing, but reviews movement of recycled uranium to Paducah.


A new U.S. Department of Energy report confirms previous studies about the movement of recycled uranium to and from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The Historical Study of Recycled Uranium involved a review of records at 12 Department of Energy facilities that handled recycled uranium from the early 1950s through the late 1980s.

The main work of the plants was the production of nuclear weapons.

The 93-page report on Paducah confirms that some of the recycled material shipped to the plant contained technetium, plutonium and other radioactive materials. It also confirmed that some of those materials contaminated buildings and groundwater around the plant.

The study also repeated previous findings that some records regarding the handling of the hazardous materials are missing, that in the 1950s supervisors didn't enforce safety procedures to protect workers from the radioactive dust, and that some hazardous materials were disposed of in landfills designated for nonhazardous waste.

The study was the fifth in a series of reports by DOE to review historical operations at nuclear weapons plants and to assess the health risks placed on employees.