Time Period: May 16-20, 1960
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: National Lead of Ohio (Fernald) conducted tests on a drilling machine at the Heald facility. The tests involved drilling a few uranium slugs on the machine which Fernald intended to purchase.
The Heald Machine Company located in Worcester, Massachusetts was subcontracted in June 1959 by National Lead of Ohio (NLO) to produce 1 precision drilling machine to perform centerless grinding of uranium slugs. The contract included a performance test of the drilling machine before delivery to NLO, the test to be performed at Heald Machine Company. This acceptance test occurred on one occasion over 4 days.
In May, 1960 an engineering acceptance test was conducted at Heald Machine Company to demonstrate the capability of a “multi-bore” drilling machine to drill four uranium slugs at a time. 100 solid uranium cylinder test pieces were contracted to be run, provided by NLO, along with the drill bits. There are no records of the actual number tested. There also are no records of any other work involving uranium at this site other than the May 1960 period. The actual test dates where uranium was processed are May 17-19, 1960. Decontamination was conducted from May 19-20, 1960, and is described as having no contamination above background level.
Campaign Process Details
Weeks prior to the tests with uranium, an engineer from NLO visited Heald Machine and observed the operation of the precision drilling machine, confirming its proper operation using cast iron slugs.
March 16,1960: Background air sampling was also performed on this date.
May 17-19, 1960: The slug drilling test commenced and continued until noon on Thursday, May 19. Air samples were collected on May 18 during the test. The drilling machine was partially decontaminated and the floor vacuumed at the end of each working period. The drilling machine was located in an unventilated enclosure. Air monitoring results were essentially the same as the background samples collected prior to these tests.
May 19-20, 1960: Full decontamination of the area and equipment was performed. All coolant with chips was collected and sealed in 30 gallon drums which were packed into 55 gal drums and returned to NLO. A survey of the area and equipment was performed to confirm no radiation levels above background. This work was completed at 3 PM on the 20 th . All materials associated with the test were under the control of NLO and returned to NLO.
Job Categories :
Each claim will be evaluated to determine the most appropriate Job Category from the list below.
MACHINING – Centerless Grinding (1960)
Plant Floor High -(Involved directly in operations—dose based on site specific data)
Plant Floor Low -(Involved in support of operations—dose based on 50% of plant floor high above)
Supervisor -(Assumed to spend some time in the production areas—internal dose based on 25% of plant floor high above)
Clerk -(Assumed to have minimal exposure—dose based on exposure to 2.5% of plant floor high above)
Employed after AWE period -Assumed to have no exposure based upon FUSRAP surveys.
Heald Machine Co. is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site and as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
As of 04/05/2015, 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 Battelle Laboratories – West Jefferson is $900.
Heald Machine Co. 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.
Technical Basis Documents
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Worked Uranium Metals
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Worked Uranium and Thorium Metals
Appendix BD – Heald Machine Company