A stunning case of kids, radioactivity and government neglect emerges in Ohio

In 2017, federal regulators from the U.S. Department of Energy testing the neighborhood around a 20th century uranium plant in Pike County, Ohio, made a startling discovery in the air near a middle school attended by hundreds of local children — traces of neptunium-237, an extremely radioactive particle, typically a by-product from nuclear reactors.

But what happened next was even more incredible. Instead of issuing a public alert that might have led to more testing and a possible closure of the Zahn’s Corner Middle School, located in an economically depressed region of southern Ohio, the U.S. government said absolutely nothing.