Also Known As: General Chemical Division, Allied Signal Metropolis Plant, Honeywell Metropolis Works Plant
Time Period: AWE 1959-1976; Residual Radiation 1977-March 1, 2011
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: After World War II, many companies working for the United States Government produced UF6 feed for uranium enrichment and diffusion plants. The Allied Plant in Metropolis, IL was completed and initial deliveries began sometime in 1959. In 1962, several feed plants were shut down and the privately-owned Allied Chemical Company Plant in Metropolis, IL, took over the conversion of U3O8 to UF6. This plant produced approximately five thousand tons of uranium hexafluoride feed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant per year. It was shut down in 1964. Though it later reopened, it is not clear that any material after this date was used in the Atomic Weapons Production Process.
During the period of residual contamination, as designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and as noted in the dates above, employees of subsequent owners and operators of this facility are also covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
Allied Chemical Corporation is listed as an Atomic Weapons Eployer under theEEOICPA.
NIOSH:REVIEW OF THE NIOSH SITE PROFILE FOR ALLIED CHEMICAL CORPORATION PLANT, METROPOLIS, ILLINOIS
As of 03/01/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Allied Chemical Corporation is $22,031,030.
Allied Chemical Corporation 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.
*SITE DESCRIPTION AND OPERATIONAL HISTORY
The information that follows applies to the period of AEC operations at ACCP in Metropolis, Illinois, from January 1, 1959, to December 31, 1976, which involved AEC-contracted conversion of uranium ore concentrates to uranium hexafluoride (UF6). Opening ceremonies for the ACCP fluorine plant occurred in October 1958 (Sloop 1978). The original license issue date was December 17, 1958 (NRC 2003, p.37). Four claims (claim Numbers redacted) include bioassay results in December 1958; and one of these from December 15, 1958, has a positive result that indicates that uranium exposures might have occurred in late 1958, before the covered AWE period as established by the Office of Worker Screening and Compensation Support, which does not begin until January 1, 1959. The plant was closed temporarily on June 30, 1964, and AEC (1966) reported that it might reopen in 1966. A review of available worker dosimetry records indicated that some workers might have been laid off or transferred around this period, but that other workers were still on the site. The reviewed documentation indicates that weapons-related residual contamination exists outside the listed operational period (NIOSH 2011). Residual contamination from previous weapons-related activities is indistinguishable from contamination produced during later operations. This facility is still operational, and the residual contamination period has been established as being from January 1, 1977, through March 1, 2011 (DOE 2013).
Detailed information about buildings and processes is provided in Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 based on descriptions written after the period of operations that is covered by this document. Individuals who worked at ACCP indicated that there was little variation in the processes over time. Because individual dosimetry results are available for the vast majority of workers at ACCP, reconstructed doses should be based on specific individual dosimetry. The ACCP radiological source term started with the receipt of uranium ore concentrates. Some long-lived uranium progeny were included in the concentrates (e.g.,230Th and 226Ra). Uranium chemical forms included oxides, fluorides, and hexafluorides, which meant that exposures could have been to uranium solubility types F, M, S, or a combination.
The ACCP was also known as General Chemical Division, Allied Signal Metropolis Plant, and was later purchased by Honeywell.
“On February 4, 1957, the Allied Chemical and Dye Corp. announced selection of Metropolis, Illinois, as the site of its plant to process 5,000 tons of U 3 O 8 a year under contract with the [Atomic Energy] Commission[AEC]” (AEC 1957). The official plant startup date appears to be January 1, 1959, but there are indications that uranium and uranium workers might have been on the site in late 1958. One individual reported participating in opening ceremonies at the fluorine plant outside Metropolis in October 1958 (Sloop 1978), which indicates that uranium exposure could have occurred as early as October 1958.
ACCP operated its UF6 production facility using a dry conversion process (versus a wet solvent extraction process) to supply UF6 feed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant through June 30, 1964, under an AEC contract (Perkins 1982). In addition, ACCP was sampling uranium concentrates for other entities as of 1982.
On June 30, 1964, the plant was temporarily closed. AEC (1966) reported that the plant “may be reopened in 1966 for uranium hexafluoride production.” Perkins (1982) noted that ACCP resumed operations in February 1968, but the available dosimetry records indicate that radiological exposures were still occurring at the plant between June 30, 1964, and February 1, 1968. Some of the claimant interviews and external dosimetry records show that a number of workers were on the site during the shutdown and that hiring was occurring in 1967, although these records also indicate that a number of workers were laid off in July 1964. The available records do not indicate what activities might have been ongoing in the plant during the shutdown period. However, based on U.S. Department of Labor job descriptions associated with one claim (claim number redacted), some processing operations might have continued at least on a sporadic basis.