Radioactive Materials Like at Piketon School Were Present in Huntington

Updated 3 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Presence of radioactive fusion materials at the Huntington Pilot Plant site on the INCO campus for purpose of worker exposure. No tests were done on exposure beyond the gates.
Presence of radioactive fusion materials at the Huntington Pilot Plant site on the INCO campus for purpose of worker exposure. No tests were done on exposure beyond the gates.
The Piketon school four miles from the PGDP has had five student cancer diagnosis ; three have died. A class action suit is pending

Following the discovery of neptunium and uranium at the Piketon Middle School, surveyors have found evidence of radioactivity up to 14 miles from the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Pant (PGDP). Vina Colley, National Nuclear Workers for Justice (NNWF) and PRESS, disclosed those findings last week with HNN. 

A second class action has been filed on behalf of residents living seven miles of the A plant in Piketon, which sent materials  to the Huntington Pilot Plant on the INCO property in the 1950s.

Colley has revealed that the Piketon plant received weapons  grade atomic bomb matter from its early 50s opening. Some of that material also went to the Huntington site where nickel carbonyl was added and in some cases reactor process materials were recycled. 

The HPP was owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and leased to INCO. Certain former employees  of the actual structure which in 1978-1979 was demolished and most contaminated portions buried in a classified unlined landfill. 

Contaminated HPP debris were trucked to Piketon for burial. One of the truck drivers perished from exposure:

"Kenny Estep worked as a truck driver at the A-Plant. Estep hauled radioactive waste to a plant landfill. In 1978 he was told to dump snow on a leaking cylinder of radioactive uranium hexafluoride. Estep died of a rare form of liver cancer seven years later. Estep’s widow was compensated for her loss after the United States government admitted in 1999 that it had harmed workers at the A-Plant and other atomic plants. 

Radioactive Materials Like at Piketon School Were Present in Huntington
File photo near former HPP

Residents who live in the vicinity of the A-Plant have also experienced more than their share of cancer and other diseases, and animals and plants nearby were found to contain harmful contaminants."


 Although DOE/DOL/NIOSH documents have evaluated the former site, these decisions were based on findings that did not include that Piketon was working with atomic bomb weapons grade materials. 

Piketon received product from the secret Oak Ridge K-25 plant.   Colley said that K25 matter had "to be trucked off for disposal. At first, [Oak Ridge]  city workers loaded this for disposal and got contaminated then workers from the K25 took over. They said it was cleaned up , but every once in a while they would find more." Colley referred to reports from Frank Munger's column in the Oak Ridge newspaper.   As a result of receiving K-25, Savannah River, and West Valley New York bomb grade materials, Colley told HNN that evidence of contamination has been found within 14 miles of the PGDP.
She suggests that more Piketon and Scioto schools need radiation testing. 
The OFFICIAL (now potentially disputed for accuracy ) includes the following DRAFT: 

 Draft 11/21/2013 01-A Added values of Am-241, Th-230, and Tc-99 to Tables 4 and 5. Changed (corrected) the header of the fourth column of Table A-2 to “Photons per hour per Ci 238U.” Corrected three errors in the text of Section 6.2 describing dose and dose rates (actual doses reported for dose reconstructions in Table 6 were correct). 12/02/2013 12/12/2013 01-B Incorporated 



 Recycled Uranium Recycled uranium may have been present with the contaminated scrap material that was processed beginning in 1956 (AEC 1958c). Recycled uranium is uranium that has been irradiated in a reactor and from which the uranium has been extracted from the plutonium, fission products and other elements. However, small quantities of some radioactive elements are still present in the material and may have been present on the contaminated scrap barrier shipped to the RPP. Pu-239 and Np-237 are the contaminants that are likely to have contributed to significant dose at the RPP. Plutonium and neptunium were present in the recycled uranium that was fed into the gaseous diffusion plants. The recycled uranium comprised a significant portion of the feed to the gaseous diffusion plants starting in 1952. The AEC had accumulated large quantities of scrap nickel prior to the introduction of recycled uranium into the AEC complex. Additionally, the scrap nickel sent to INCO consisted of both contaminated scrap (from used barrier material) and uncontaminated nickel (nickel not used in the enrichment cascades) (AEC 1961). Assuming all scrap was contaminated with both uranium and recycled uranium contaminants would result in an overestimate of worker exposure

Two Huntington law firms are involved in the initial Piketon class action:  Mark Underwood (click HNN ad) and Vitale & Vitale. They would like air, water and soil samples for testing from residents living near the HPP, particularly any families who have experienced losses or illness from cancer.