The Wah Chang metal refinery, now named ATI metal refinery, in Millersburg, Oregon played a big role in the U.S. nuclear history. In the 1970s Wah Chang reprocessed depleted uranium for the nuclear weapons program.
At the time, most workers at the Millersburg plant were not told about the hazard uranium presents and the potential health risks. Over the years many of the Wah Chang workers developed health problems including cancer. Families shared their loved one's stories
Rudy Kilgore's father Bud Kilgore worked at Wah Chang for 20 years and died of pancreatic cancer in 1977 at the age of 61. Rudy and his siblings were denied compensation because Bud's cancer was diagnosed too early to be considered work-related.
Charlene Miller's husband Steve Miller worked at Wah Chang for 37 years and died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 59. Charlene and her family were denied competition because Steve did not have enough workplace radiation exposure to qualify.
Garry Steffy, state coordinator for the United Steelworks SOAR chapter and longtime Wah Chang employee, fights to educate past and present Wah Chang employees about the government compensation program for those developed cancers that were "at least as likely as not" caused by on-the-job exposure to radiation connected to the U.S.