Location: Los Angeles County
Time Period: DOE 1955-1960
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Under an operating contract with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), North American Aviation performed research and development into the peaceful uses of nuclear energy at the Canoga Avenue Facility in Canoga Park, CA. This work was previously performed at North nAmerican Aviation’s Downey Facility, but was moved to Canoga Avenue at the very end of 1955. Principal work performed included design,development and radiochemistry. Beryllium machining is also believed to have occurred in there.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded in its 1995 report on the facility that it “was found to be free of radioactive materials which indicated that the area had been successfully remediated… in the past.”
CONTRACTOR: North American Aviation 1955-1960
Canoga Avenue Facility is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
The SEC classes for Canoga Avenue Facility include:
All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and its contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Canoga Avenue Facility, Los Angeles County, California, from January 1, 1955 through December 31, 1960 for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.
Job Titles and/or Job Duties covered by the SEC class include:
All workers employed by North American Aviation who worked in any areas in any job capacity.
Atomics International conducted radiological operations in the Vanowen Building on Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, California from December, 1955 until late 1959. The work included the design, development, and operation of enriched uranyl sulfate reactors and radiochemistry. In 1960, all of these activities were moved to a new facility and all operations in the Vanowen Building ceased. Surveys carried our by Atomics International and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicated that there is no residual radioactivity in the Vanowen Building, in the soil and vegetation or groundwater in the vicinity of the building. Demolition of the Vanowen Building was completed in 2006.
Canoga Avenue Facility was formerly part of Energy Technology Engineering Center, Canoga Complex.
As of 09/07/2015, 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 the Canoga Avenue Facility is $48,551,164.
Canoga Avenue Facility 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 $400K 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.
*Historical Operations (1956-60)
In 1956, Atomics International (AI) was formed as a division of North American Aviation. AI performed R&D into the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Between 1956 and 1960, this work was performed at the Vanowen building at the Atomics International (now Rocketdyne) facility on Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, CA. Principal work performed at the Vanowen facility included design, development and operation of small, aqueous, 93% enriched uranyl sulfate, reactors, named L-47 and L- 77; reactor design, fuel development, and radiochemistry.
Reactor Max Power (watts) License Period of Operation
L-47 5 R-19 August 1957 -June 1958
L-77 10 R-40 May 1958 -February 1960
Both reactors were licensed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (ABC) and operations were routinely inspected by ABC staff. The location of both reactors was in the southeast comer of the Vanowen building in what is now the loading dock area.
In 1960, AI moved to its new facility on De Soto Ave. in Canoga Park, and all radiological activities were transferred to De Soto.
** Canoga Park
AEC-funded activities at Rockwell’s Canoga Park, California, occurred in the Vanowen Building from approximately 1954 to 1960. This work had been performed at North American Aviation’s Downey Facility, but was moved to Canoga Avenue at the end of 1955. Principal work in the Vanowen Building included design, development, and operation of small aqueous fuel reactors, fuel development, and radiochemistry, and beryllium machining is believed to have occurred. The reactors activities involved the construction of small 10-W aqueous uranyl sulfate homogeneous reactors named L-47 and L-77 for use in training institutions. Reactor fueling occurred only after the reactors were installed at the training institutions. A few fuel elements for the organic moderated reactor were fabricated at this facility.
Facilities where AEC-funded work took place within the Vanowen Building included the machine shop (where some beryllium machining took place), a radiochemical laboratory, and office space. The wastewater from all facilities except the laboratory discharged into a common treatment plant. The wastewater from the radiochemical laboratory went to a clarifier, where it was tested for radioactivity before being released to the sanitary sewer if it was below established standards. The sludge from the clarifier was disposed of in a government repository or an AEC site for low-level waste.
Once the AEC work was completed, the clarifier was surveyed for radioactivity, determined to be within acceptable standards, and backfilled. The transfer lines from the clarifier to the sewer main could still be present, but they are not in use.
NIOSH SEC Petition Evaluation Report
Petition 151 (Jan 1, 1955 to Dec 31, 1960)
Petition Evaluation Report – Petition SEC-00151 – Rev #: 2
Report Submittal Date: March 23, 2010
Technical Basis Documents
Atomics International – Introduction
Effective Date: 08/30/2006
Energy Technology Engineering Center – Site Description
Effective Date: 02/02/2006
Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the Canoga Avenue Facility (Vanowen Building), the Downey Facility, and the De Soto Avenue Facility (sometimes referred to as Energy Technology Engineering Center [ETEC] or Atomics International) – Occupational Medical Dose
Effective Date: 10/31/2008
Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the Canoga Avenue Facility, the Downey Facility, and the De Soto Avenue Facility (sometimes referred to as Energy Technology Engineering Center [ETEC] or Atomics International) – Occupational Environmental Dose
Effective Date: 04/26/2010
Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the Canoga Avenue Facility, the Downey Facility, and the De Soto Avenue Facility (sometimes referred to as Energy Technology Engineering Center [ETEC] or Atomics International) – Occupational Internal Dose
Effective Date: 04/26/2010
Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the Canoga Avenue Facility, the Downey Facility, and the De Soto Avenue Facility (sometimes referred to as Energy Technology Engineering Center [ETEC] or Atomics International) – Occupational External Dose
Effective Date: 04/26/2010