housands of Nuclear Arms Workers See Cancer Claims Denied or Delayed
By Michael Alison Chandler and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 12, 2007; Page A01
Walter McKenzie’s assignment toward the end of the Cold War was to mop up after mishaps at a nuclear weapons factory. With a crew of other laborers from rural Georgia, he swabbed away leaks and spills inside the secret buildings, until one day his body became so contaminated with radiation that alarms at the factory went off as he passed.
“They couldn’t scrub the radiation off my skin — even after four showers,” McKenzie, 52, recalled of his most terrifying day at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant near Aiken, S.C. “They took my clothes, my watch and even my ring, and sent me home in rubber slippers and a jumpsuit.”