Pennsylvania Nuke Plant Makes $27.5M Settlement with Neighbors

March 20, 2008

People who live near a former nuclear fuel processing plant in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania have accepted $27.5 million from Atlantic Richfield Co. The money will settle claims that the plant caused cancer and other illnesses and damaged their property.

A federal judge on Tuesday signed off on the deal proposed last month by ARCO and plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The case concerns the former Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., which processed uranium and plutonium in Apollo borough and nearby Parks Township, about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Residents say they inhaled radioactive dust for three decades and contend microscopic particles of uranium from the plant caused an unusually high cancer rate.

Most personal injury and wrongful death claims will get about $100,000.

A case against another defendant, Babcock & Wilcox Co., remains.

In January, the federal government approved a $150,000-per-person aid program for former workers at the facility who later developed cancer.

The plant, which changed ownership over the years, produced fuel for nuclear submarines and other purposes.

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