This plant experienced theft of plutonium by workers during this era.She joined the union and became an activist on behalf of issues of health and safety at the plant as a member of the union's negotiating team, the first woman to have that position at Kerr-Mc Gee.
These were reduced on appeal, but the case reached the United States Supreme Court in 1979, which upheld the damages verdict.Following her mysterious death, which received extensive coverage, her estate filed a lawsuit against chemical company Kerr-Mc Gee, which was eventually settled for $1.38 million.Silkwood was portrayed by Meryl Streep in Mike Nichols' 1983 Academy Award-nominated film Silkwood.Before another trial took place, Kerr-Mc Gee settled with the estate out of court for US $1.38 million, while not admitting liability.In 1965, she married William Meadows, an oil pipeline worker, with whom she had three children.Silkwood, her boyfriend Drew Stephens, and her roommate Dusty Ellis, were sent to Los Alamos National Laboratory for in-depth testing to determine the extent of the contamination in their bodies.
Questions arose over how Silkwood became contaminated over this three-day period.
After the strike ended, she was elected to the union's bargaining committee, the first woman to achieve that position at the Kerr-Mc Gee plant.
She was assigned to investigate health and safety issues.
She was decontaminated at the plant and sent home with a testing kit to collect urine and feces for further analysis.
Although there was plutonium on the inner portions of the gloves which she had been using, the gloves did not have any holes.
She said the contamination in the bathroom may have occurred when she spilled her urine sample on the morning of November 7.