Also Known As: Ithaca Gun Club
State: New York
Time Period: 1961-1962
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: During 1961-1962, Ithaca Gun conducted tests involving the forging of hollow uranium billets into tubes for the metallurgical group at National Lead Company of Ohio (Fernald).
Ithaca Gun Co. is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer under the EEOICPA.
As of 04/12/2015, the total compensation paid under Part B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Ithaca Gun Co. is $150,450.
Ithaca Gun Co. Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or 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.
*INTRODUCTION AND SITE HISTORY:
In 1961 and 1962, the Ithaca Gun Company (IGC) was subcontracted by National Lead of Ohio (NLO) to conduct tests involving the forging of hollow uranium billets into tubes for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor agency of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). A series of tests were performed in 1961 to determine the abilities of the Gun Forging Machine’s vertical forging unit, used by IGC in the manufacturing of shotgun barrels, to forge hollow uranium billets into tubes for possible use as fuel cores. Additional tests to investigate alternative methods of producing fuel cores were conducted at IGC in 1962. The forging process involved heating the uranium billet to extreme temperatures, followed by mechanical hammering and rapid cooling in quench drums. The process created residual contamination in the form of metal tilings and dust. Because of the potential for contamination of equipment and surrounding surfaces, all testing was conducted in an enclosed, secluded building of the plant.
According to information obtained from NLO justification and trip reports, approximately 164 uranium feed stock tubes were used during the period of testing (Workhum 1961; Jansen and Nuckels 1962). NLO controlled most aspects of the work including handling, transporting, and accountability of the uranium and process waste, health and safety, and post-test decontamination efforts. IGC supplied all of the equipment, equipment operators, and special tooling required for the forging process. The site records indicate that NLO exercised considerable effort to minimize contamination during the testing process. Records also indicate that monitoring of equipment, exhaust from dust collectors, and outdoor paved areas was performed routinely and decontamination performed immediately if uranium contamination was detected.
Upon completion of the project in 1962, all uranium shapes, uranium-bearing dust, and contaminated liquid and sludge were returned to NLO. The entire area, including the exteriorpavement and grounds adjacent to the testing area, were monitored and only background levels remained after cleanup. However, records do not specify cleanup criteria or guidelines. Due to this uncertainty, further radiological evaluation was needed to determine whether residual uranium contamination was present in excess of DOE guidelines.
DOE reviewed available historical documentation describing the previous AEC activities conducted at the Ithaca Gun Company site and based on the results, requested that the Environmental Survey and Site Assessment Program (ESSAP) of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) perform a radiological survey of the area used for the uranium forging tests. The purpose of the survey was to determine if residual uranium contamination was present on the property for which DOE has authority to require remedial action under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). FUSRAP was created in 1974 to identify, investigate, and cleanup or control sites where contamination above today’s guidelines remains from the early years of the Nation’s atomic energy program.
The former Ithaca Gun Company facility is located at 123 Lake Street in Ithaca, New York, approximately 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) east of state highway 13 (Figure 1). The facility had ceased operations in the late 1980’s and is currently unoccupied. A cyclone fence encloses the site. The present owner of the property is State Street Associates L.P.
The building that formerly housed the forging machine used for the uranium tests is located at the north end of the site (Figure 2). The building is constructed with concrete block walls, a sloped wooden roof, and a concrete slab floor. The building dimensions are approximately 18 meters by 11 meters (Figure 3). Exterior areas of the building include concrete drives bordering the north, east, and west, and another building is attached on the southern end of the Gun Forging Machine Building. Drainage from this area of the site flows north and northwest to where the land drops off sharply to a ravine that contains a creek at the base.
Also Known As: Ithaca Gun Club