Sorry to hear that TS, worked over twenty years in the hottest places in the plant, early days was significantly less presence of mind as to what radiation and types of radiation did to the human, they just did not know as they just understood and were exploring the explosive values. Near our first home in St. Charles County MO, was Weldon Springs Twnsp. That was a bustling place in the 19teens then WWII for explosives as TNT DNT, plastic explosive then they began the NEW Chemical Works for Malinkrodt, refined Uranium ore to Yellow Cake again having little knowledge of what intensifying these materials meant, they were just refining an ore. It is Currently the August A Busch Wildlife Area, a Park. Those uranium refining buildings stood for close to forty years vacant as radiation levels degraded by half lives, had left all the equipment and materials used sit exactly where left them as the last men an women were called to the office to be released from the operation no prior warning. That is now an encapsulated mound with ALL the plant buildings and machines buried for however long it takes to degrade.
Workers had worn clothing home, 'borrowed' tools, contaminated houses and farm buildings, made families sick then the real investigating took place to figure out the causes, similar to the cases around Zinc and Lead mining. Turned out as to radiation protection did not exist, heavy metals poisoning was known but not to an extent, the workers were allotted a rad rate as a experiment only to find too high where kept dialing it back. The first men to die from radiation exposure in the US were in Chicago working with Fermi on the first reactor, used Uranium plates and as referred in the current day made a Pile of them to initiate reactions, a couple of men were removing plates placing them onto carts and inadvertently made a arrangement that created a severe reactive pile and each received a massive dose dying horribly in a few weeks.
Radiation comes in for rates from Uranics, Alpha(is in nearly every rock and soil in the world as a background radiation) even found in Bananas but not as harmful as des not penetrate clothing nor skin, Beta is a bit stronger up to and inclusive of X-rays, penetrates deeper and can if exposed repeatedly or acutely for longer periods of time damage tissues, Gamma, severe radiation, penetrates really deep, causes burns if presented long enough, shuts down certain organic activities and damages mucus membranes Eyes Throat Sinus Lungs Intestinal. Final is Neutron, the released energy from Atomic and Nuclear Fission, all reactions related to atomic weapons and reactors release that radiation, NOTHING is impenetrable and the effect as such shuts down the body's cellular ability to repair itself the tissues just die where you become a walking dead person, water is your friend as to a reasonable shield, water retained in Concrete NOT the concrete itself is the shield in the structures where as concrete cures that moisture dissipates and the shielding reduces. Had Neutron 'Windows' in the plant at power, had to duck and dive past thru wall penetrations to avoid being presented to it and wore special dosimeters just to record if HAD been exposed to it, head, hands, ankles and waist devices were worn and I had worn them. My dosage rates were less than one receives from a Dentist visit or a series of chest or back x-rays over a years time, that is how well the industry has evolved. I hear the news of 'Radiation' released from Fukushima traveling to the US, radiation is a effect, emission or energy not a material, radioactive materials are carried by water borne materials as dirt and dissolved solids not radiation as a generality. Those materials are filterable and removable as well just base water is the best shield for protection of them, the distance traveled from Fukushima to the US is such that a detectable emission can be noted but is barely above background levels in our own front yards, much of it has to be filtered out of the water to even detect it. All too much reporting today is remnant scare/fear of radiation from the early days.
Radiation Protection has come a LONG way since those days. I was 'Allowed' 2500 millirem(MR) radiation dose per year by the Company 5000MR by Fed, in a emergency that COULD be raised to 10,000 MR for acute dose rate but that was a Federal MAXIMUM. I received 1 Rem(1000MR) during Refuel 9 in four days, was booted out of the Containment building until area rates decreased and I only received 28mr for the last month of the refuel. Plans got better, operations flushed hot spots more often and during at power operation and just at refueling, we got those levels down to where received I less than 100mr for an entire refuel 40-90 days working in most of the hotter rad zones in the last refuels I worked. REM is Roentgen Equivalent Man, or what is considered known as Radiation damage levels to organics as flesh.
Ignorance is not a excuse but it was the cause so many got sick and died, sad but the lack of experienced science based knowledge does lead men down a primrose path at times. Received training on this annually so the base knowledge will be there until my mind fails or I die, will always be a consideration as to what long term affects it has made on my body.
The question that makes me shudder is how much of what we are doing now is going to be found out to be hazardous, crazy and unhealthy in 10, 20 or 30 years?
Like maybe this vaccine?