Atomic Work History
At only 19 years old, Brian accepted his first position of what would become a 45-year-long career in the atomic industry. Over those four and a half decades, Brian worked at two sites, Y-12 and K-25, where he climbed the industrial hierarchy and eventually retired in 2012 as a Facilities Manager, at the Y-12 National Security Complex.
During his first five years at Y-12, Brian worked as a Machinist until he accepted a position at the nearby K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant as a pipefitter. It was at K-25 that Brian enjoyed the next 13 years of what would become the most memorable part of his time in the atomic industry. Brian recalls, “My favorite memory was when I was a Pipefitter and a Welder. Myself and five other guys built an oil decontamination facility out of recycled and scrap materials found on the plant. We didn’t have any budget, but after a few weeks working on it, we had a successful system.”
After 13 years working at K-25, the plant was nearing closure, so Brian went back to Y-12 and continued the next three years in his career as Pipefitter until he was promoted to a Supervisor, then a Safety Engineer, then Federal Compliance Trainer, and eventually retiring as a Facilities Manager where he managed 1,600,000 square feet of the plant’s grounds.
When asked about workplace exposure, Brian mentions, “Most people knew the dangers, but everyone enjoyed their job so much that no one cared.” Around 1998, Brian began to experience extreme hearing loss, his first symptom of the repercussions of working in the atomic industry. Years later, he began to feel severe burning in his feet, which ultimately led to his Neuropathy diagnosis in 2002.
Connecting with Nuclear Care Partners
In remembering when Devin, Nuclear Care Partners’ Tennessee Administrator, reached out to Brian about his benefits, Brian let out a chuckle, “I was so tired of insurance companies calling and ruining my day I would play a little prank to get them to stop calling. But once Devin explained who he was and the mission of Nuclear Care Partners I was very interested!” Brian was relieved to longer be working directly with the Department of Labor, and since he had already received his white card, the transition to becoming a patient with Nuclear Care Partners was seamless.
In gratitude for the positive impact the team has had on his health and his life, Brian mentions, “I’ve referred over 25 of my former colleagues to Nuclear Care Partners and after they get connected they always call me back and tell me they’ve had great results!”
Today, Brian continues to call Oak Ridge home where he enjoys rides on his motorcycle, camping, spending time with family, and indulging in his family’s beloved traditional southern cuisine.
To read the full article, check out our Fall 2022 Atomic Health News edition.