Over Their Dead Bodies
Sometime this year, the dead bodies of three men who worked at a government uranium plant in Paducah, Ky., will be exhumed and tested for radiation from such deadly elements as plutonium and neptunium. The tests are part of a $10 billion class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of workers at the plant, which alleges that the feds and the three companies that have managed the plant for the last 47 years exposed as many as 10,000 workers and perhaps 10,000 community members to cancer-causing radioactive elements. “We believe that workers were exposed to radiation that was 1,754 times greater than the maximum of what federal regulations allow,” said William McMurry, a lawyer representing workers and their families. The Department of Energy has released the first of a two-part report that found serious problems with cleanup efforts at the plant, faulting contractors and local DOE officials.