Also Known As: Heavy Minerals Co., Vitro Chemical Co.
State: New Jersey
Location: West Orange
Time Period: 1951-early 1960s; Residual Radiation 1960’s-1977
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: In December 1951, Vitro was asked to submit a proposal for research on thorium fluoride production, scrap recovery and waste recovery to involve 14 chemists and analysts. Though it is not certain whether this work was undertaken, by the late 1950s and early 1960s, Vitro conducted work under AEC contract converting low-enrichment uranium dioxide to uranium carbide spheres. The uranium dioxide was shipped from Rockwell International (then known as the Atomics International Division of North American Aviation, Inc.) to Vitro for conversion into uranium carbide and was then shipped back to Rockwell. Around 1958, Vitro also conducted work under contract to the AEC Oak Ridge Operations Office for the separation of fission products.
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.
Vitro Laboratories performed work that involved conversion of low enrichment uranium dioxide to uranium carbide spheres. Apparently, there were two contracts with AEC involving two levels of enrichment, -3.68 percent and 4.9 percent. Vitro also conducted work under contract to the Oak Ridge Operations Office for the separation of fission products. The facility was operated in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
This site was initially owned by Yitro Laboratories, Division of the Vitro Corporation. The original site covered approximately 3acres. The radiological operations were carried out on the second floor of the Vitro building which was demolished prior to the site visit described below. The site is now owned and occupied by the West Orange Tennis Club, Inc. The tennis club is located at 200 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, New Jersey.
Radiological History and Status:
On November 30, 1977, personnel from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Oak Ridge Operations Office visited the site. Direct radiation measurements and samples of water and surface soil showed only background levels except for one soil sample having an elevated concentration (7.9 picocuries per gram) of thorium-232 . In December 1951 , AEC invited Vitro to submit a proposal for research on thorium fluoride production. However, to date no records have been found that indicate that Vitro actually conducted work with thorium at this site. Thus, it is not known if the thorium anomaly was due to Vitro activities. This uncertainty notwithstanding, the elevated reading was within permissible levels prescribed by criteria determined by DOE to apply to this site. Thus, no residual radioactivity traceable to AEC operations and exceeding remedial action criteria was detected.
Vitro Corp. of America (New Jersey) is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.
Vitro Corp. of America (New Jersey) 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.