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Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Essay

1044 words - 4 pages

Paiton HouchinsEnglish 101 7504Jude RoyOctober 18, 2014The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion PlantIf you were to ask the citizens of the Paducah area how they felt about the closing of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant you would get very different responses. Everyone would have their own opinion as to why it was a good thing, or a bad thing, or why they should've never closed it, or why they should have a long time ago. Some people would argue that the plant brought many high paying jobs to the area and brought the area money. Some would argue that the plant was very bad for the people and the local area due to the contamination it caused. The plant left its lasting effect on the area and the people there. Most of these lasting effects were negative. The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant caused lasting health side effects on workers and the local population, it brought contamination to the local area, and it caused long term illnesses among a number of the workers.The first of these negative effects that the plant caused were the lasting health side effects that it left on the people. In Kristen Iversen's book (Iversen) Full Body Burden she talks about the health side effects the nuclear plant in her town caused the children in the area. In the book she talks about the symptoms such as; fever, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. Iversen says these are symptoms that no one can really diagnose, they deal with them on a daily basis. Being exposed to the nuclear plant and the radiation the plant put out caused the local children in the book to be in constant pain of some sort and have these symptoms.The second negative effect that the plant had on the area is the contamination of the local area. An article wrote by Joe Stephens (Stephens) writer for the Washington Post said," The discovery of radioactive black ooze seeping from the ground a quarter-mile from the U.S.-owned uranium plant here has buttressed workers' claims of unlicensed dumping of hazardous waste outside the factory fence." With this contamination in the area and the radiation finding its way into the soil and also the water sources in the area. When it finds its way to water sources this can cause many animals to get sick which in turn could cause a human to get sick also. Not only was the contamination creating a destructive path, it was also creating conditions that have had a lasting effect on the area. In an article written by the Department of Energy (Department of Energy ) stated, "When groundwater contaminated with the degreaser trichloroethene (TCE) and the uranium by-product Technetium-99 (Tc-99) was discovered off the plant site in 1988, DOE responded by providing temporary water supplies to residents potentially affected by the discovery. They had used groundwater wells for drinking, cooking, and irrigating crops. To protect the public, DOE created the Water Policy, extending municipal water lines at no cost to people whose wells could be affected by plumes of contaminated...

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