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Lawsuit Filed Against Erwin Nuclear Fuel Processor

ERWIN, Tenn. (AP) — A federal court lawsuit against the East Tennessee processor of nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy alleges negligent operation of the plant, leading to death, injury and environmental damage.
The lawsuit against Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on behalf of 19 plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status. They request unspecified damage awards for any person who suffered personal injury or property damage because of plant operation between 1957 and the present.
Babcock and Wilcox currently owns the plant and is named as a defendant, as are previous owners.
The company told the Johnson City Press that it had not yet seen the lawsuit but hasn’t harmed anyone in the community and will vigorously defend itself.
The 40-page suit claims the plant released radioactive, hazardous and toxic substances into the surrounding environment in rural northeast Tennessee.
“These releases have contaminated the air, soil, surface water and ground water in the surrounding communities,” the suit alleges.
The complaint further says the plant caused the premature deaths of two of the plaintiffs. A jury trial is requested.
The plant also processes high-enriched uranium into low-enriched forms for use commercially.