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Also Known As: ElectroMet Corp., Umetco Minerals Corp., Union Carbide Corp., Electro-Metallurgical Corp.
State: New York
Location: Niagara Falls
Time Period: 1942-1953
Facility Type: Department of Energy
 
Facility Description: In 1942, the Electro Metallurgical Company (ElectroMet), a subsidiary of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation, was contracted by the Manhattan Engineer District to design, engineer, construct, and operate a metal reduction plant.
 
Developing the technology to produce pure uranium metal was a priority for the Manhattan Project. ElectroMet received uranium tetrafluoride from Union Carbide’s Linde Air Products Division. ElectroMet reacted the uranium tetrafluoride with magnesium in induction furnaces to produce uranium metal. Once the metal was produced, it was cast into ingots, and the ingots were then shipped out for testing or for rolling. The leftover process residues were sent to other sites for uranium recovery, storage, or disposal. ElectroMet was also in charge of recasting metal, research and development in low- and high-grade uranium ores, and supplying calcium metal to Los Alamos and other laboratories.
 
From 1950 through 1953, the plant casted zirconium metal sponge into ingots. Ownership of the facility was transferred from the Atomic Energy Commission to ElectroMet in 1953.
 
Listing:
Electro Metallurgical is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
 
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Electro Metallurgical site in Niagara Falls, New York, from August 13, 1942 through December 31, 1947, 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 included in the Special Exposure Cohort.

(Note: This class was established from Petition 136)
 
History:
The Electro Metallurgical Company was located in Niagara Falls, NY in a building that is now part of the area occupied by Union Carbide Corporation. Uranium processing occurred in one building of the company (now Building 166 of Union Carbide). Uranium processing began in April, 1943 and continued until August 1946. Three shifts per day were run when the processing was at full operation. Production was shut down from August 1946 until October 1947, but resumed at that time until September 28, 1949 when production was stopped. The uranium processing carried out at the facility utilized uranium tetrafluoride and heat to cause a conversion to uranium metal.
 
Compensation:
As of 08/16/2015, 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 Electro Metallurgical is $28,515,269.
 
Electro Metallurgical 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.
 
*Site Function:
MED contract W-7405-Eng-14, initiated on November 14, 1942, called for design, engineering, construction, and operation of a plant to produce uranium metal from uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), also known as green salt. Expansion of the facility occurred under construction contracts W-7405-Eng-227 and 255. Electromet received UF4 from Union Carbide’s Linde Air Products Division plant at Tonawanda, New York,reacted it with magnesium in induction furnaces to convert it to uranium metal, and then recast the metal into 110- to 135-kilogram ingots. The products were generally shipped to either Hanford Engineer Works,Richland, Washington, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, or Du Pont’s Chambers Works, Deepwater, New Jersey, for testing, or to Simonds Saw and Steel Company, Lockport, New York, Vulcan Crucible SteelCompany, Alliquippa, Pennsylvania, Revere Copper and Brass Company,Detroit, Michigan, or Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana, for rolling. Process residues (dolomite slag, uranium chips, and crucible dross) were shipped to other sites for uraniumrecovery, storage, or disposal. These sites included Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW), Lewiston, New York, (now known as the DOE Niagara Falls Storage Site), Mallinckrodt Chemical Company, St. Louis, Missouri,Vitro Manufacturing Company, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, the Du Pont Chambers Works, and Hooker Electrochemical Company, Niagara Falls, New York.
 
In addition to production of metal from green salt, Electromet recast scrap metal from Simonds, Chapman Valve Manufacturing Company, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, and American Rolling Mill Company (location unknown). The contract also contained a provision for the conduct of research and development. Some work was done under this provision from April to October 1945. The exact nature of the work is not known, but it may have involved low- and/or high-grade uranium ores.
 
Production of uranium metal was suspended in August 1946 and resumed in October 1947. On November 30, 1948, Electromet was liquidated as a separate company and became the Electra Metallurgical Division of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. All rights, assets, liabilities, and contracts were transferred to Union Carbide. Production continued until September 28, 1949, when the last casting of uranium was conducted. The plant was placed in standby condition two days later.
 
Electromet also supplied calcium metal to Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Iowa State College, and AEC’s Santa Fe Yards under contracts W-26-021-Eng-13, AT (30-l)-Gen-137, 160, and.225, and AT-04-l-Gen-55, 56,57, 78, 91, and 101 (1945 to 1948). In April 1950, the UF4-to-metal plant was reactivated for casting zirconium metal sponge into ingots for the Naval Critical Requirement program. The work was conducted under W-7405-Eng-14 and funded under AEC contract AT(30-l)-861 with Titanium Alloy Manufacturing Division of National Lead Company (supplier of the zirconium). The plant was returned to standby condition at the completion of the work in September 1950. Portions of the facility were subsequently used under contract AT-(40-l)-1090 between Union Carbide and Carbon Research Laboratories, Inc. and AEC’s Oak Ridge Operations Office. This contract directed Union Carbide to conduct research and development on methods of forming metal that would minimize unnecessary machining, finishing, and waste. This work was conducted from January to June, 1951. Although the contract is not specific, the metal involved was probably uranium. Later, just prior to demolition, the building was also apparently used for titanium processing (contract number unknown). AEC involvement at the site ended when contract W-7405-Eng-14 expired on June 30, 1953.
 
Following termination of the MED/AEC contracts, Electromet processed uranium and thorium for commercial use under New York State radioactive material license 950-0139. From August 1965 through April 1972, Union Carbide Corporation produced 505 tons of slag bearing 9212 pounds of thorium dioxide and 1293 pounds of uranium oxide. This slag was placed in 55-gallon drums and buried in a designated area on plant property in a hole 20 feet deep with 4 to 5 feet of soil cover.
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DOCUMENTS:
 
NIOSH SEC Petition Evaluation Reports
Petition 136 (Aug 13, 1942 to Dec 31, 1947)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00136, Report Rev #: 0
Report Submittal Date: July 21, 2009

 
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00136, Rev. 1, Report Rev #: 1
Report Submittal Date: 01/31/2012

 
SC&A
PARTIAL REVIEW OF THE REVISED NIOSH PETITION EVALUATION REPORT FOR THE ELECTRO-METALLURGICAL CORPORATION, PETITION SEC-00136
February 2012

 
REVIEW OF NIOSH PETITION EVALUATION REPORT FOR PETITION SEC-00136 DATED JULY 21, 2009, ELECTRO-METALLURGICAL CORPORATION
May 2011

 
Technical Basis Documents:
Technical Basis Document for the Electro Metallurgical Company, Niagara Falls, New York
Effective Date: 09/24/2015, Revision No.: 01

 
Technical Basis Document for the Electro Metallurgical Company, Niagara Falls, New York
Effective Date: 02/15/2011, Revision No.: 00

 
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Refined Uranium and Thorium
Effective Date: 12/13/2006

 
Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Refined Uranium and Thorium
Appendix C – Electro Metallurgical Company
Effective Date: 12/21/2007