Service + Solidarity Spotlight: USW Members Help Energy Department Reach Cleanup Milestones


Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

United Steelworkers (USW) members at the cleanup sites of the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio, helped the Department of Energy (DOE) reach two cleanup milestones this fall. The atomic workers’ conversion project reached a turning point last month when the Paducah site shipped the first load of depleted uranium oxide cylinders onto a specialized rail car bound for a federal waste facility in Andrews, Texas. The Piketon plant is in the planning stages of shipping its depleted uranium oxide to the Texas waste facility. Tom Lamerson, a USW Local 1-689 division 2 committee person at the Piketon plant, said, “You feel you’re doing a huge service to the community, the environment and the country. We are getting rid of it safely and efficiently.” In Paducah, the DOE also marked 25 years of successful operations in removing groundwater contaminants.