Workers exposed to uranium seek redress

From Newsday.com, a story that workers exposed to uranium in the USA are in the courts looking for compensation.  How long until Saskatchewan workers take to the courts?

Verizon hit with suit for ex-nuclear plant risks

|mark.harrington@newsday.com

Five employees of a magazine distribution company once located at a former nuclear-fuel plant in Hicksville will file a lawsuit today seeking to force Verizon Communications Inc. to pay medical-monitoring expenses tied to illnesses they fear they may develop from exposure to toxins at the site, their lawyers said last week.

The complaint, which the lawyers said will be filed in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, accuses Verizon and its predecessor companies of “reckless” and “grossly negligent” operation of a facility that made nuclear fuel rods from uranium and other materials at a plant on Cantiague Rock Road. The plant, which was operated between 1952 and 1966 by Verizon predecessor Sylvania Electric Products Inc., routinely incinerated uranium scrap into the open air and dumped chemical toxins into the ground.

The workers are employed by Magazine Distributors Inc., a company that operated at the former Sylvania site from 1991 to 2002 and has since moved to Farmingdale. MDI is not named as a defendant.

The suit says the workers were exposed “on numerous occasions to hazardous and toxic substances” at the site, where they “inhaled, ingested, or otherwise absorbed” the toxins. As a result, they allege they are at an increased risk of developing “multiple forms of cancer and other serious life-threatening diseases.”

One thought on “Workers exposed to uranium seek redress

  1. This post didn’t really jibe with my understanding of the fuel creation process so I went and read the FULL article.

    Your intro to this story is a little misleading. They AREN’T suing because of exposure to uranium.

    From the article – “They’ve been exposed to some pretty serious toxins,” Breit said, though the suit will focus on chemical, not nuclear, contamination. He declined to explain why. The primary toxins to which they were exposed, the suit charges, are tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethene and heavy metals such as nickel.

    Now that makes more sense. The uranium ore used in making fuel rods is relatively benign and poses no significant radiation hazard that I’m aware of. In fact nuclear plants when they recieve new fuel routinely stand right up next to the fuel rods and inspect the assemblies with magnifying glasses. The fuel rods don’t become a real radiation hazard until after they’ve been used for a few years and then they’re spent fuel rods. In the US reprocessing spent fuel rods is illegal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s