Kathleen M. Tucker

Kathleen M. Tucker (1944-2019) was president of the Health and Energy Institute, where she organized national and international conferences about radiation and the law. She also published several reports regarding nuclear waste processing and disposal, uranium mining, and occupational hazards at private nuclear sites. She was best known as a public interest lawyer who helped raise national awareness of the case of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and union activist employed as a technician at a plutonium fuel fabrication plant in Cimarron Oklahoma owned by the Kerr-McGee Corporation. On November 13,1974, she was killed after her car hit a culvert on her way to meet with a New York Times reporter. Tucker went on to organize a lawsuit on behalf of Silkwood’s family, which found Kerr McGee liable for contaminating Silkwood’s home. The decision was upheld by the US Supreme Court. Since then numerous books, articles, documentaries, and a critically acclaimed Hollywood motion picture have focused on the circumstances surrounding Silkwood’s death. Tucker also represented victims of human radiation experiments by the nuclear weapons program and brought to light hidden overexposures of US nuclear weapons workers, revelations that helped in the enactment of the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.