by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Former Portsmouth Diffusion Scientist Asks for Input for Aggressive Prostate Cancer Study

Guards at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (and other employees) worked with highly radioactive elements and dangerous chemicals.

They wore no protective gear apart from their uniforms.

They wore dosimeter badges to tally their exposure. But many claimants applying for compensation from the Department of Energy or Department of Labor insist that the reported exposures were purposefully inaccurate.

"A lot of claimants have no confidence in the records,” said Malcolm D. Nelson, the Labor Department’s ombudsman for the program in a report by the Center for Public Integrity reprinted by Slate.

These 'doses' are used to estimate the amount of radiation received by an employee to qualify for compensation.

"Garbage in garbage out," said David M. Manuta, who was the chief scientist at the Portsmouth Plant from 1990 to 2000 in the Slate/Center for Public Integrity report. He's currently a safety consultant expert attesting to the workers long term exposures resulting in life ending cancers.

Prostate cancer has been rampant among former workers. Not the common non-aggressive form that appears in older men who die of other causes. No, these men contracted the cancer at a young age and have died.

Manuta, a long time nuclear worker advocate, seeks to prove  work at atomic plants , specifically Portsmouth and Paducah , as well as others, such as the Huntington Pilot Plant ( where workers performed processing and recycling of core materials), Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion, Hanford and other nuclear weapon facilities.

Over the weekend he issued a call to action:

Been working with current and retired at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS) workers on prostate cancer issues. Men who worked in job classifications including material handlers and plant security were often uninformed about and unprotected from the onslaught on ionizing radiation (especially gamma radiation from highly enriched uranium) and hazardous chemicals (including those in the same family as the hormone estrogen).

A form of aggressive prostate cancer has been identified that when left unchecked is a killer. The federal government has ignored (in my considered opinion) that this form of prostate cancer is different from that which has been shown to impact men as they age.

As a result of the alleged contempt for these workers by both the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Department of Labor (DOL), an epidemiology study was commissioned with the faculty in the School of Public Health and Master of Public Health graduate students at Ohio University-Athens.

The intent is to complete a comprehensive study of the aggressive occupationally induced prostate cancer that ought not be ignored by those who are handsomely paid with our tax dollars. The DOE and DOL can accept the results of this study or not. If administrative consideration of this aggressive form of prostate cancer is not changed, then a foray into Federal Court may be necessary.

The ASK is for current and retired workers at PORTS and at other federal nuclear complex weapons facilities to communicate with me. Not only do we need men who are/were directly impacted by this failure to inform and to protect, but we also need control groups.

The control groups are of comparably aged men who worked in other (presumed less dangerous) job classifications in the federal nuclear weapons complex and/or were employed elsewhere. Those employed elsewhere ought not have had any occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and hazardous chemicals in the course of routinely doing their jobs.

Our hypothesis is that those who worked elsewhere would be much more likely to get the form of prostate cancer that often impacts men as they age and not the aggressive killer that we have encountered at PORTS (and elsewhere in the federal nuclear weapons complex).


Contact him at His website is:

Manuta expained:

The first objective ... is that we present the facts to DOL. This process should educate career DOL employees that workers  in the federal nuclear weapons complex) did their patriotic duty. No one thought that they would get sick on the job. This (current) compensation program is an acknowledgement that many people were "done wrong." Since the funds are committed to this Program, the DOL needs to be more flexible in extending Accepted status to many more of our Claims."

Manuta has considerable professional industry experience ranging from writing MSDS documents for chemical suppliers and waste handlers , safe handling of strong oxidants, an aluminum fire investigation,  working in regulated environments such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and expertise in reducing the possibilities of certain chemical reactions taking place.