The Price of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power: The Case of Paducah, Kentucky

Mining Awareness +

The Price of Nuclear Weapons: The Case of Paducah, Kentucky
SEPTEMBER 01, 1999

As the US Congress prepares for a battle over nuclear testing, in Paducah, Kentucky, workers at a uranium plant are battling its former operators after they recently discovered radioactive black ooze seeping from the ground close to the plant.

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, operated for years by the nuclear weapons manufacturing companies Martin-Marietta and Lockheed Martin, produced enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, Navy submarines and commercial power plants for 47 years. The plant is owned by the Department of Energy, which subcontracted it to Martin Marietta in 1984, and then to Lockheed-Martin in 1995 when Martin-Marietta and Lockheed merged.

The chance discovery of the ooze by plant workers in July led to the uncovering of a burial ground for radioactive debris just north of the plant. The waste was barely hidden…

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