Members of the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board helped create the book, The Story of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Megawatts to Megatons to Megawatts. They believe the stories of plant workers are important to preserve for future generations.
Judy Clayton, project leader and a member of the Paducah Citizen's Advisory Board (CAB), along with the CAB Vice Chair Ben Peterson, present a copy of the book to Cate Alexander (center), Designated Federal Officer of the EM Site-Specific Advisory Board.
The Story of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Megawatts to Megatons to Megawatts, preserves the plant’s complex history and pays tribute to the hard-working people who made it successful.
The Paducah Sun, a local newspaper, printed the book in collaboration with DOE infrastructure contractor Swift and Staley, Inc. The 160-page hardbound book is filled with stories, interviews and photographs detailing the plant’s history.
For more than six decades, plant employees contributed to the region’s growth, played a role in scientific advancements, such as space exploration, and worked toward world peace.
“For my part, the hours of personal time I devoted to the project were a labor of love to honor the memories of the devoted people who have worked at the plant,” said Judy Clayton, a firefighter and emergency medical technician at the site and CAB member. “Although I was the principal driver behind the effort, I had considerable support from others, such as Georgann Lookofsky and Valerie Render, both Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant employees, and Buz Smith of DOE, who contributed information and photographs.”
Located on a 3,556-acre reservation, the plant began enriching uranium in 1952, first for the nation's nuclear weapons program, then for nuclear fuel for commercial power plants.
It took two years to compile the content for the book and publish it. The book features photos from plant vaults, employees and plant neighbors. Clayton and others interviewed some of the first plant employees in their homes and at the CAB office. CAB members edited the content, and the board’s support staff helped coordinate interviews. Videos of those interviews and the site’s history are featured on the CAB website.
"The history book is something the Paducah CAB, the Paducah community and site workers can be proud of. It records the history of the facilities and the people important to us all,” DOE Portsmouth Paducah Project Office Manager Bill Murphie said.
“Generations to come need to know of the accomplishments at this site. This is why they gathered and compiled all of this information within one book,” said Smith, a strategic planner for EM’s Paducah Site Office. “The book exists because of Judy and her commitment.”