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Also Known As: Nuclear Fuels Services, Davison Chemical
State: Tennessee
Location: Erwin
Time Period: AWE 1958-1970; Residual Radiation 1971-March 1, 2011
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
 
Facility Description: The Davison Chemical Division of W.R. Grace Co. (later Nuclear Fuel Services) processed unirradiated uranium scrap for the AEC, recovering enriched uranium from it for use in the nuclear weapons complex. Correspondence from 1963 also indicates that the company also worked with thorium, which was associated with their work for the civilian nuclear reactor industry and the naval reactors program.
 
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.
 
Listing:
W.R. Grace is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.
 
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) employees who were monitored or should have been monitored for potential exposure to thorium while working in any of the 100 series buildings or Buildings 220, 230, 233, 234, 301, or 310 at the W. R. Grace site at Erwin, Tennessee for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days from January 1, 1958, through December 31, 1970, or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.
 
Location: Erwin, Tennessee
Job Titles and/or Job Duties: All workers
Period of Employment: January 1, 1958 through December 31, 1970
 
Compensation:
As of 08/30/2015, the total compensation paid under Part B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at W.R. Grace is $21,284,783.
 
W.R. Grace 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 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, HISTORY, AND PROCESS:
The Davison Chemical Company, a division of W.R. Grace, began processing radioactive materials in the late 1950s at the site of the current Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) facility near Erwin, Tennessee (NFS 2005).
 
The Report to Joint Committee on Atomic Energy Congress of the United States by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO 1967, p.5-6) from September 14, 1967, states: AEC authorized the Davison Chemical Division of W.R. Grace & Company (Grace) to receive and process special nuclear material under license number SNM-124. Grace received its first material as an AEC licensee by lease agreement in March 1958 and its first nuclear material as an AEC contractor in May 1959.
 
In 1964, NFS was formed by the merger of W.R. Grace and the American Machine and Foundry Company. In 1965, the UO2/PuO2 MOX facility was completed, and in 1968, the light-water breeder reactor thorium, thoria, and 233U oxide program was initiated (NFS 2005). Ownership of NFS transitioned from Getty Oil to Texaco as part of a stock buyout of Getty Oil in 1969. In 1987, NFS Services, a private Atlanta-based limited partnership, purchased NFS from Texaco. Figure 2-1 shows the location of Erwin, Tennessee. Figure 2-2 shows the principal site infrastructure for the NFS facility in 1986 (Congress 1986, p.108).
 
Regulatory authority over operations was originally under the AEC (1954 to 1974) and changed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (1975 to present) under Special Nuclear Material License SNM-124, as amended.
 
The principal operation at the site has been to convert HEU and LEU from UF6 to a product that meets customer requirements. Thorium, DU, 233U, and plutonium have also been processed at various times to oxides or metals with subsequent processing into the form necessary for the manufacture of nuclear fuel. Specific tasks at the facility included (1) processing ThO2 that was mixed with 233U to make the light-water breeder reactor fuel for the Shipping port Reactor and (2) fabricating plutonium and DU MOX fuel for the South-West Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR) in Building 234 with laboratory capabilities in Building 110; both operations ceased in 1970 (Congress 1986, p. 31). Other operations were associated with the conversion operations such as scrap recovery operations (uranium and other nuclear fuel material) and cleaning and certification of empty cylinders for transport of LEU UF6. Table 2-1 lists the approximate processing history of the site.
 
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*Source
 
DOCUMENTS:
 
NIOSH SEC Petition Evaluation Reports
Petition 82 (Jan 1, 1958 to Dec 31, 1970)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report, Petition SEC-00082, Rev # 0
Report Submittal Date 3-26-2007

 
Technical Basis Documents
An Exposure Matrix for W.R. Grace and Company in Erwin, Tennessee