left to meet with a reporter from the New York Times.
She never got there.
When we first meet Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep), she is late for work and asking her co-workers at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant to switch shifts with her so she can have the weekend off. Her blasé attitude toward working with radioactive materials is changed when a friend of hers is cooked, or directly exposed to the contaminants. Soon Silkwood holds one of the highest positions in the plant's union and is performing a serious investigation, through which she uncovers many company secrets. Her mission appears to be two-fold: improve health and safety conditions for workers and force the implementation of higher quality-control standards. Although she embarks on an undoubtedly noble quest, her authority and ability are constantly undermined by the portrayals of her background, her lifestyle, and even much of her personality. This film provides a close look at a woman whistleblower, importantly set in the time of the Cold War and the onset of the AIDS crisis. In the end, the viewer is left with many questions, since Silkwood dies mysteriously in a car accident on her way to an interview with a New York Times reporter. The expose piece was going to include details about Kerr-McGee sending unsatisfactory products to a nuclear plant, yet the documents she had with her as evidence were never found. Her death was officially ruled an accident.