Time Period: AWE 1942-1944; Residual Radiation 1970-1985
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: The University of Virginia was involved with centrifuge technology prior to the existence of the Manhattan Engineer District (MED). Once established, the MED was interested in this technology and records show that the University of Virginia received UF6 from Harshaw Chemical Company in various shipments as part of the MED’s efforts to explore the use of this technology for the production of UF6 in nuclear weapons. The MED ultimately did not choose this method of uranium production for the development of the bomb and work on centrifuges temporarily ceased at the University of Virginia by the end of 1944. The centrifuge work was re-initiated in the mid-1950 but this latter work did not involve the production of nuclear material for use in an atomic weapon.
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.
*DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website:
The University of Virginia played an integral role in developing the process to use uranium in the development in nuclear weapons. The Naval Research Laboratory asked Dr. Jesse Beams, of UVA, about the possibility to using isotope separation by centrifuge for the enrichment process of uranium. He was able to successfully enrich uranium by the use of his high-speed centrifuge.
Later, the University of Virginia’s Nuclear Reactor Facility, operated by the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, housed the UVAR, a light-water-cooled and moderated research pool-type reactor which began operation in 1960 and ceased operations in 1998.
University of Virginia is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.
As of 05/31/2015, the total compensation paid under Part B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at University of Virginia is $0.
University of Virginia 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 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.