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Also Known As: Burlington Ordnance Plant,  Silas Mason Co.,  Mason & Hanger,  Iowa Army Ammunition Plant
State: Iowa
Location: Burlington
Time Period: 1947-1974
Facility Type: Department of Energy
 
Facility Description:
The Iowa Ordnance Plant (IOP), also known as the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP), is a load, assemble, and pack munitions facility that began production in 1941 and continues to operate as a Government-owned, contractor-operated installation. Between 1947 and 1974, a portion of the IAAP was operated under contract to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) for the purpose of supplying the AEC with explosive components for nuclear weapons. The area of the IOP that performed work for the AEC includes the buildings and property/grounds of the IAAP that is identified as Line 1, as well as Yards C, G and L and the Firing Site Area, Burning Field “B” and the storage sites for pits and weapons, including Buildings 73 and 77. Work performed in these areas is covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. In 1974, the AEC closed out its activities at the plant and transferred all functions to the Pantex Plant.
 
Throughout the course of its operations, the potential for beryllium exposure existed at this site, due to beryllium use, residual contamination, and decontamination activities.
 
CONTRACTOR: Mason & Hanger-Silas Mason Company (1947-1974)
 
Listing:
Iowa Ordnance Plant is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
 
Classes:
Iowa Ordnance Plant–employees of the DOE or DOE contractors or subcontractors employed by the Iowa Ordnance Plant (Iowa Army Ammunition Plant), Line 1, during the period from March 1949 through 1974 who were employed for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters (excluding aggregate work day requirements) established for other classes of employees included in the SEC.
 
Iowa Ordnance Plant (Radiographer)–Department of Energy (DOE) employees or DOE contractor or subcontractor employees who worked as radiographers from May 1948 to March 1949 in support of Line 1 operations at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant and who were employed for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring under this employment in combination with work days of employment occurring within the parameters (excluding aggregate work day requirements) established for other classes of employees included in the SEC.
 
Compensation:
As of 08/02/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including med ical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Iowa Ordnance Plant is $258,701,017.
 
Iowa Ordnance Plant 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 DESCRIPTION, OPERATIONAL HISTORY, AND PROCESS:
The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP) is a load, assemble, and pack munitions facility that began production in 1941 and continues to operate as a Government-owned, contractor- operated installation. IAAP is in the southeastern part of Iowa, near the town of Middletown in Des Moines County. It is about 10 miles west of the Mississippi River and the town of Burlington (U. S. Army 1988). Less than a third of the IAAP’s 19,015-acre (30-square-mile) property is occupied by active or formerly active production or storage facilities. The remaining
land is evenly divided between leased agricultural acreage and woodlands (JAYCOR 1996). Since operations began in 1941, IAAP has used explosives and lead-based initiating compounds to produce a wide variety of ordnance items. The Line 1 area, portions of the Firing
Site (FS) area, the Explosive Disposal Area (EDA) sites, and Yards C, G, and L came under the jurisdiction of the Atomic Energy Commission [AEC; now the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE)]. In addition, the Security Command Center, the Emergency Response Command Post the Deactivation furnace, Line 3 Warehouse 301, and the North Burn Pads Landfill might have been utilized. This area, totalling around 1,630 acres, became known as the Burlington Atomic Energy Commission Plant (BAECP). The site was officially renamed the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in 1965. The site has also been referred to as the Iowa Ordnance Plant.
 
During the summer of 1947, Silas Mason Company entered into a contract with the Ordnance Department to assist in the design and engineering to perform the construction and to operate a facility for the purpose of supplying the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) with explosive components for nuclear weapons. In May 1948, Silas and Mason Company supervisor personnel entered a training program at the Naval Ordnance Test Station (China Lake California). Upon returning from training, these supervisors trained other IAAP personnel.
 
By the spring of 1949, IAAP was at full production for HE fabrication (Mitchell 2003). In March 1949, it was decided that certain weapon assembly operations (non-nuclear components) would also be conducted at IAAP (Poole and Harrison, 1954, Mitchell, 2003). Until March 1949, all of the initial work at IAAP focused solely on high explosive manufacturing. Based on a review oIAAP Project History reports (Poole and Harrison, 1954), NIOSH has concluded that the first nuclear weapon assembly operations began in 1949 with the Mark IV.
Based on the review conducted during the development of the initial site profile, NIOSH felt certain that fissile materials were onsite from at least 1958 forward. The concern for these materials is that they are generally the most radioactive component of a nuclear weapon and result in the largest external dose. NIOSH has uncovered considerable evidence that indicated fissile materials were not onsite at IAAP until 1955. This evidence considers IAAP’s missionearly weapon design and the development of a Rad-Safe (Radiation Safety) program.
According to the IAAP History of Line 1 Operations (Ahlstrand, 1956a, 1956b, 1957b), with the planned assembly of new sealed pit weapon designs, IAAP instituted a radiological monitoring program which included the routine external dose monitoring for some workers using film badges.
DOCUMENTS:
 
NIOSH Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Petition Evaluation Reports
Petition 6 (1947-1974)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-0006-1, Rev # Draft
Report Submittal Date xxx

 
SEC Petition Evaluation Report Supplement, Petition SEC-00006-1, Rev. # 0
Report Submittal Date: 03-31-2005

 
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00006-2 (Radiographers), Rev # 0
Report Submittal Date: 06-14-2005

 
Technical Basis Documents
Technical Basis Document for Atomic Energy Operations at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP)
 
SC&A
Review of NIOSH Site Profile for the Atomic Energy Operations at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP) Final Integrated Version