Oct. 6, 2010
Atomic Plant Book Briefly Mentions Secret Burial of Huntington’s Former Uranium Processing Plant

By Tony Rutherford
Huntingtonnews.net Reporter
Huntington, WV (HNN) – Carol Rainey, a teacher, took a bus tour of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in 2004 with Vina Colley, president of PRESS, the Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security, and co-founder of National Nuclear Workers for Justice.
The book, “One Hundred Miles from Home Nuclear Contamination in the Ohio Valley….” in its chapter on the Portsmouth plant mentions the burial of the radioactively contaminated Huntington Pilot Plant.
“Though plant managers denied it… an INCO (International Nickel Company) plant (actually a Department of Energy plant which was on the INCO venue via a lease) had been buried in the Classified Materials disposal Facility. INCO , a large defense contractor, built the plant in 1951 to provide nickel for the barriers of the cascades at Paducah and Piketon. To save money, INCO had used scrap nickel from K-25 in Oak Ridge, but this nickel was already contaminated with uranium,” the author wrote.
“The Huntington plant closed in 1963, but was not dismantled until 1979; all the radioactive debris were then secretly shipped to Piketon . No environmental impact study of the nickel burial has ever been done,” Ms. Rainey writes.
Finally, the author tells of former workers --- classified as survivors receiving compensation for their “unwitting radiation exposure. Incidents such as these resulted in the federal ban on the sale of contaminated metals in 2000, the ban which Paducah officials are now trying to get overturned in order to sell their contaminated nickel.”
(Editor’s Note: The plant was owned by the DOE/Atomic Energy Commission which leased the site on the INCO property in West Virginia.)

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