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Portsmouth Nuclear Workers Gather Reciting Alleged Rule Rubrics
Workers repeatedly told of claim denials, despite allegedly meeting criteria necessary for compensation.
“Why don’t they pay these [nuclear] workers,” asked Vina Colley, a former welder at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. “This is ridiculous . They have contaminated the ground water here. They have contaminated the well water from the Huntington plant. Nothing. You had a big spill in [West Virginia] but we have been dumping radioactive materials in the water for 30 some years.”
She and others originally broke stories that plutonium and other radioactive elements were utilized at plants in Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia (among others). When in Washington, DC to testify in the 1990s before Congress, she recalled members of the press directed to avoid her uncomfortable analysis. Still, her testimony and that of others were placed in the Congressional Record.
Referring to health conditions that have continued in the Ohio Valley, Colley referred to the “cancer rate” and “the people sick. What is our government going to do about i
Seventy nine truckloads of contaminated scrap arrived in Piketon in 1979 from the dismantled Huntington Pilot Plant.
“The workers [here[ buried that,” she said.
As the years progressed, it leaked into two creeks, which contaminated nearby aquifer water.
“NIOSH is not [properly] doing dose reconstruction. They are not doing neutron exposure. That’s a secret thing. I’ve asked over and over for a copy of the topologist and health physics on how they turned down my exposures. I have the same physician that got me awarded compensation for two illnesses and he wrote other illness [but] they are completely ignoring them.”
Colley is president of President of PRESS (Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security). Co (Chair National Nuclear Workers for Justice (NWJ).
During the meeting, Gary S. Vander Boegh, president/CEO of Nuclear Worker Advocates, told the audience that residents of both Paducah , Portsmouth and those in other cities are unknowingly put at risk. Boegh stressed that nuclear waste is shipped without proper certifications on the highways.
His position proved unpopular. The moderator tried to take his microphone. A few crowd members chanted, "Let him speak." Eventually, his banner was removed from display. Only HNN covered the meeting. We were asked after multiple photos were taken not to snap without permission at the public meeting which already had "being taped" signs on doors.