Nuclear Contamination Injury Lawsuits. Tennessee Nolichucky River Nuclear Contamination Meeting: Erwin Town Hall Meeting, March 16, 2011
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The Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) facility in Erwin, Tennessee has been blamed for enriched uranium contamination in the Nolichucky River. The Nolichucky River supplies drinking water to Greeneville, Tennessee and surrounding communities. The radioactive contamination caused by NFS poses a serious health threat to people who rely on the Nolichucky River for their drinking water.
Our law firm represents people who have suffered personal injury and property damages resulting from all manner of radioactive materials, such as the enriched uranium contaminating the Nolichucky River. Victims of the NFS plant enriched uranium contamination may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries. To discuss how we can help you, were urge you to contact us today for a free, no obligation evaluation of your case.
Nolichucky River Enriched Uranium Contamination
The NFS facility in Erwin, Tennessee produces nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy and processes weapons-grade uranium into fuel for nuclear power plants. The radioactive material in the Nolichucky River was discovered in 2010 by Michael Ketterer, a chemistry professor at Northern Arizona University who specializes in uranium contamination, according to the Greeneville Sun. Ketterer’s study constitutes what is believed to be the first scientific research on water and soil outside the boundaries and downstream from the NFS plant.
Ketterer’s study was based on water and soil samples collected on the Nolichucky downstream from the NFS facility. The samples tested were collected from the two publicly accessible locations downstream from the NFS plant on several occasions over the summer. The testing found “enriched uranium signature, namely Uranium 235 and Uranium 238 atom ratios in excess of the naturally occurring value.” The study also stated that “an enriched uranium signature” was evident in Greeneville tap water from a time series of tap water samples collected between August 26 and September 16.
The concentrations of enriched uranium that Ketterer found were low and did not exceed federal drinking water standards. However, the federal water discharge permit for NFS says the facility is not supposed to be releasing any enriched uranium. Ketterer said his findings pointed to a need for further research. Ketterer himself said there “is more unknown than is known” about the contamination in the Nolichucky River, and that a plume of enriched uranium of unknown extent exists along the river downstream from the NFS plant in Erwin. The study states that an apparent entry point of the enriched uranium-contaminated water into the surface water is through underground discharges from seeps and springs. There are no known sources of enriched uranium in the area other than the NFS facility.
This is not the first time the NFS facility in Erwin, Tennessee has been the subject of safety concerns. According to the Knoxville-Sentinel, the facility experienced a leak of highly enriched uranium in 2005. In response, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an order modifying the company’s special nuclear materials license that cited a “deficient safety culture” at the facility. The order detailed six instances in 2005 and 2006 in which NFS personnel violated NRC regulations. In the same incident, the facility was cited for eight other violations including failure to notify NRC of the spill in a timely manner, and failure to meet safety requirements for a critical accident, which could lead to the release of a deadly amount of radiation.
Legal Help for Victims of Nuclear Contamination
If you and your family were impacted by the uranium contamination in the Nolichucky River associated with NFS facility in Tennessee, you may have valuable legal rights. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your case by filling out our online form, or calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).