State: New York
Time Period: 1950-1952
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: Allegheny-Ludlum Steel rolled uranium billets into rods for the AEC as part of the multi-site process overseen by the New York Operations Office for the production of uranium metal for fabrication into slugs for fueling the Hanford production reactors.
*Site Description :
The Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Corporation (A-L) located in Watervliet, New York, rolled solid uranium rods from ingots in 1951 and 1952. The rods were referred to as billets because additional rolling occurred elsewhere to produce the finished rods. The operation started as a developmental scale operation but transitioned into production scale work. The work included other metal working tasks such as straightening, lathe work, cutting with shears and stamping.
Site Activities :
Uranium work at Alleghany Ludlum began on January 20 th , 1951 rolling at least 25 uranium metal ingots from 5 inch diameter to 13/16 inch diameter rods. In April of 1951, the AEC started an experimental rolling campaign with experimental rolling #1 at Simonds Saw and Steel and Bethlehem Steel. Experimental rolling #2 involved Allegheny Ludlum on July 22, 1951. Twenty four uranium ingots were rolled at Allegheny Ludlum into billets of several different sizes between about 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches in diameter. These billets were finish rolled at Bethlehem Steel on July 29 th to 1 and 1/16 th inch diameter. Experimental rollings #3, #4 and #5 continued the process of rough rolling into billets at Allegheny Ludlum and finish rolling at Bethlehem Steel. However, experimental rolling #4 consisted of two separate days at Allegheny Ludlum (August 23 rd and September 19 th ) prior to the finish rolling at Bethlehem Steel (AEC 1951).
Experimental rolling #6 occurred at Allegheny Ludlum on November 17, 1951 but not enough good billets were produced to continue the experiment at Bethlehem Steel (AEC 1951). It was intended that a salt bath furnace be used for this rolling but the furnace could not be constructed in time. DuPont (Savanah River) insisted no further rolling were worthwhile without a salt bath (Belmore 1951).
Starting on December 1, 1951, the rollings were no longer referred to as experimental but the number of ingots rolled was similar to the experimental rollings and the purpose was to gather data. A salt bath furnace was introduced at Allegheny Ludlum starting with this rolling. One of the effects of the salt bath was to reduce oxidation of the uranium metal which greatly reduced airborne contamination.
Allegheny-Ludlum Steel is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer under the EEIOCPA
As of 03/01/2015, the total compensation paid under Part B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Allegheny-Ludlum Steel is $1,562,106.
Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $150K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.
We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY.
‘The Al-Tech Watervliet plant was used in 1950, 1951, and 1952 for the processing of uranium metal for AEC. The company, known as Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Corporation at the time of the contract (No. AT(30-l)-1156 with National Lead of Ohio), rolled uranium billets into solid rods. The operation was on a developmental rather than a production scale. The contract called for the return of all uranium bearing material and any scrap generated in the operation to AEC. Finished rods were shipped to either Hanford or Savannah River. Available records indicate that a total of 918 billets were rolled on three occasions in March, April, and May 1952. More definitive information on the total quantity of uranium processed during the term of the contract is not available. The uranium operations were limited to the 14-inch rolling mill and an annealing furnace and were conducted only on weekends. AEC personnel were on hand during the rolling operations and carefully vacuum-cleaned areas surrounding the rolling mill and made radiation measurements. However, no records are presently available. The primary purpose of the contract was to develop design criteria for the planned Fernald rolling mill. The14-inch mill was removed in 1960 to Al-Tech’s Dunkirk, New York, plant.
The facilities are owned and operated by Al-Tech Specialty Steel Corporation, formerly Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Corporation. The Watervliet site is located on Spring Street Road and consists of a building and surrounding property. The area where the mill operated in 1950 through 1951 is now used for metal and roller storage. The annealing furnace is still in use but could be any one of four electric furnaces. Furnace liner material was replaced several timesin the interim. This material is believed to have been buried in the company disposal yard. The building housing the operation has been rearranged and expanded significantly since 1951.
The Al-Tech plant in Dunkirk, New York, is located on WillowbrookAvenue. The affected area includes the mill building and the scrap yard.
Technical Basis Documents:
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Worked Uranium Metals
Document Number: Battelle-TBD-6000
Effective Date: 06/17/2011
Revision No.: 1
Appendix Q – Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company
Document Number: Battelle-TBD-6000 Appendix Q
Effective Date: 09/04/2014 Revision No. 1
State: New York