Karen Silkwood

The Kerr-McGee Story

Karen Silkwood was born on the 19th day of February in the year of 1946.

She died in the year of 1974 on November 13th. During life, she worked at the Kerr-McGee plant in Oklahoma, near the city of Crescent. She held the responsibility of making pellets composed of plutonium for fuel rods that were nuclear reactor based. Eventually, she came to the point where she questioned the irregularities that occurred at the factory, and stated that they committed many wrongdoings. Once this started to happen, she mysteriously died. It is believed that Karen was part of a conspiracy that would prevent her from revealing information on the Kerr-McGee plant.

When Karen Silkwood got the job at the Kerr-McGee plant, she become interested in the group called "Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union". It was not too long after being hired that she joined the group. Shortly thereafter, the union members participated in a strike against Kerr-McGee. The strike would soon come to a close and she would be put in the committee that was referred to as "Union Bargaining" and given the responsibility of investigating issues related to the health of the workers as well as the overall safety of those individuals. She researched the facility and discovered:

· Various violations that could hinder the health of the individuals that worked for the plant.

· That workers were exposed regularly to contamination.

· The respiratory safety devices given to the employees were faulty.

· Samples that were stored in the facility were stored improperly.

· That there was not enough shower units in the plant to reduce the exposure of the toxic materials that employees were subjected to while employed by Kerr-McGee.

Plutonium-238 sphere under its own lightBy the time 1974 had rolled around, Karen Silkwood had provided a testimony to a group known as the "Atomic Energy Commission". She also claimed that the Kerr-McGee story issued in inspection records was false. On the 5th day of November that same year, Karen Silkwood did a self-check to determine if she had any contamination. She measured over 400 times what is considered to be the legal based limit for the toxic substance called "Plutonium". The plant went through the decontamination process with her and then requested that she go home and test her urine and bowel movements and provide them with samples so that more tests could be concluded.

The next day, despite the fact that she had not done any type of work, she was still contaminated severely, so the decontamination process started once more. On the 7th of November, she was still highly contaminated. Upon inspection of her home, several tests indicated that the toxic substance was on several surfaces of her home. She had such a high level of toxicity that the substance tested positive in her lungs. She and the person that lived with her were sent to a special facility for analysis. Karen Silkwood was determined that she had become subject of an intentional contamination for her account of the dangers within the plant.

The company immediately started making accusations that Karen Silkwood was intentionally contaminating herself in order to justify the accusations that she made against the company. Her home was inspected and several types of equipment and products from the plant were found. However, the products that she possessed in her home were from an area of Kerr-McGee that she had absolutely no access to for a long period of time. It is believed that the company set her up – secretly placing the items in her home to justify their claims of her purposely contaminating herself. Karen Silkwood had enough. She contacted the New York Times and was prepared to get the story public.

On the 13th day of November in 1974, she had all of her notes together in a binder and made her way for Oklahoma City to meet with a reporter to share her story. Later that evening, Karen Silkwood was discovered in her automobile dead. While referred to as the "classic, one-car sleeping driver accident", the trooper discovered some unusual items in the vehicle. The binder that contained the documents was not anywhere in the automobile, but tablets of a sedative known as "Quaalude" was discovered. Additionally, marijuana was found in the vehicle. While the car was found in a ditch near a culvert, there was mysterious damage on the back of the vehicle that could not have occurred as a result of her accident. It is believed that she was pushed from the road from another vehicle and it was a conspiracy to cover up the Kerr-McGee story.



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