Also Known As: B & L Steel, Niagara Cold Drawn
State: New York
Time Period: AWE 1951-1952; Residual Radiation 1953-1999
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: Under contract to the National Lead Company of Ohio (Fernald), Bliss and Laughlin Steel rolled uranium rods for the AEC and also provided uranium slug machining services. Bliss and Laughlin was part of a complex called the Buffalo Works that fashioned components for the early weapons program. The functions were transferred to the Albuquerque South Valley Site in 1952.
Although this site was designated for the Formerly Utilized Site Remediation Action Program (FUSRAP) in 1992, no work occurred under this program prior to its transfer to the Army Corps of Engineers.
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.
Bliss & Laughlin Steel is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.
As of 03/15/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Bliss & Laughlin Steel is $2,567,677.
Bliss & Laughlin 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 filed a claim and even if it has already 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 History :
The Buffalo, New York, Site (formerly the Bliss & Laughlin Steel site) is located at 110 Hopkins Street in the southern portion of Buffalo, New York. The site consists of a single, approximately 129,600-square-foot building surrounded by approximately 161,460 square feet of grounds. Used for finishing steel products, the facility is currently owned by the Niagara LaSalle Corporation.
In September and October of 1952, the Bliss & Laughlin Steel Company machined and straightened uranium rods under subcontract to National Lead of Ohio (NLO), who operated the Fernald Site in Ohio under contract to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). These activities at the Buffalo
site generated 53 drums of uranium waste cuttings, which AEC shipped to the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works in Lewiston, New York, for disposal or recycling. At the completion of the uranium-machining operations, NLO conducted radiological surveys of the facility and identified contamination on the machining equipment. These machines were subsequently replaced.
Because no records could be located indicating the radiological condition of the site following uranium machining, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management recommended a survey of current radiological conditions. A 1992 preliminary survey of the building interior and exterior indicated residual radioactive material on the floor of the Special Finishing Area, a 3,230-square-foot section of the facility where the machining operations were performed. Samples confirmed that the contaminant was processed uranium metal. As a result of the 1992 survey, DOE designated the Buffalo site for inclusion into the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) in that year.
A subsequent site characterization identified elevated levels of radioactivity on the surfaces of the trusses and the floor of the former Special Finishing Area and on the concrete poured over a trench located west of this area. In addition, contamination in a second trench in the former Special Finishing Area was identified during the remediation process. Remediation of the Buffalo site began in December 1998 and continued through March 1999. Trusses were remediated by scraping, wiping, and then removing the residual dust with a high-efficiency vacuum. Scabbling (a process that grinds and removes the surface of concrete) and jackhammers were used to remove surface contamination from the floor and from the concrete over the trench west of the Special Finishing Area. The second trench and a pit area contained metal shavings and debris, which were removed manually.
The concrete pad covering this trench was jackhammered, and the trench walls and floors were scabbled, jackhammered, and sand-blasted. Approximately 60 cubic yards of construction debris was generated during the decontamination of the trusses, floors, and trenches. This debris was handled as radiologically contaminated waste and shipped to a licensed facility in Clive, Utah, for disposal.
NIOSH Petition Evaluation Reports
Petition 131 (Jan 1, 1948 to Dec 31, 1998)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00131, Rev #: 0
Report Submittal Date: June 30, 2009
Petition 230 (January 1, 1999 through December 31, 1999)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00230, Rev #: 0
Report Submittal Date: July 12, 2016
Technical Basis Documents
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Worked Uranium Metals
Appendix D – Bliss and Laughlin Steel
Also Known As: B & L Steel, Niagara Cold Drawn