Uranium and Me--Not a Good Mix

USA Today---Friday March 16th page 11A

Tennessee:Oak Ridge- A small fire at a U.S. Energy Department plant that makes nuclear weapons was extinguished with no injuries, and no damage to the plant, a spokesman said. The fire at the Y-12 plant began when uranium chips spontaneously ignited, said Bill Wilburn, a spokesman for the government contractor BWXT. He said the fire was quickly put out.

You may be wondering why I posted this article. Well, I was there, in Oak Ridge the day the of the fire. (Which was actually on Thursday). I was at our new Nissan dealership working in the office when someone came into the office and asked if we were listening to the news. We said no and she proceeded to tell us about the fire but added that we were to be prepared to evacuate.

Joanne and I had talked about the siren testing they do on the first Wednesday of every month, but truly evacuate? Coby, who sits next to me said "I've lived here close to 40 years and never had to evacuate."
It figures, I said, I've been here 8 days and off we go!!!

I panicked. Yes, I did. I told Joanne we needed to leave. She said we would have to go by the hotel and get our things. I told her those things weren't important we just needed to get on 75 and go North. (Y-12 is south).
Needless to say, all was well and we didn't have to evacuate, but this gave me a new perspective to Oak Ridge. It's a beautiful town. But it does have it's dangers.

Uranium fires.

What about you? Do you think you would have wanted to leave asap?


Trish Milburn said...

Honestly, I don't want to be near Oak Ridge when there aren't any fires. I don't think it's a healthy place. My husband's grandparents lived there as did his mom for a time, and they've all died from very aggressive cancers. Our local daily paper did a several-part series a few years ago about all the health abnormalities and the high rate of cancer in the Oak Ridge area.

Belinda said...

Trish--Wow--I didn't know that. I"ve only been there 10 days so far. I don't go outside but to go to my car and into the building. That is a very interesting stat to know. I'll tell my boss.
You don't happen to have a copy of the article do you?
It really is a pretty little town. And the people are soooo nice.

Trish Milburn said...

Sorry, I don't have the article. It was a few years ago. It's possible that it might be in a searchable database at the paper.