Also Known As: General Chemical Division, Allied Signal Metropolis Plant, Honeywell Metropolis Works Plant, Allied Chemical Corporation Plant (ACCP)
Time Period: AWE 1959-1976; Residual Radiation 1977-March 1, 2011
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer
Facility Description: After World War II, many companies working for the United States Government produced UF6 feed for uranium enrichment and diffusion plants. The Allied Plant in Metropolis, IL was completed and initial deliveries began sometime in 1959. In 1962, several feed plants were shut down and the privately-owned Allied Chemical Company Plant in Metropolis, IL, took over the conversion of U3O8 to UF6. This plant produced approximately five thousand tons of uranium hexafluoride feed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant per year. It was shut down in 1964. Though it later reopened, it is not clear that any material after this date was
used in the Atomic Weapons Production Process.
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.
Allied Chemical Corporation Plant (ACCP) is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.
The SEC classes for ACCP include Atomic Weapons employees who were monitored or should have been monitored for exposure to ionizing radiation while working at Allied Chemical Corporation Plant in Metropolis, Illinois from January 1, 1959, through December 31, 1976, and who were employed for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.
The Job Titles and/or Job Duties covered by this SEC class includes: all workers at Allied Chemical Corp. Plant who were monitored or should have been monitored while they were working in any of the following: Feed Materials Building, Sodium Removal, Uranium Recovery Building, Sampling Plant, Laboratory Building, Ore Storage Locations
The Period of Employment covered by this SEC class is January 1, 1959 to December 31, 1976
The Effective Date for the SEC Class is March 3, 2007
The United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) conducted operations at ACCP from January 1, 1959, to December 31, 1976, which involved AEC-contracted conversion of uranium ore concentrates to uranium hexafluoride. The SEC class for ACCP includes Atomic Weapons employees who were monitored or should have been monitored for exposure to ionizing radiation while working at Allied Chemical Corporation Plant in Metropolis, Illinois from January 1, 1959, through December 31, 1976, and who were employed for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.
As of 07/19/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at Allied Chemical Corporation is $22,487,291.
Allied Chemical Corporation 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.
Allied Chemical initially formed in 1920 as the Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation with the combination of five small chemical companies. It originally produced certain dyes and drugs including ammonia. Over time the company diversified its products and its name changed to reflect the diversification. In 1958 the company was renamed Allied Chemical Corporation. A second name change to Allied Corporation occurred in 1981.
In 1959, atomic weapons employees at the Allied Chemical Corporation plant in Metropolis, Illinois began working on contract for the U.S. Government to produce uranium hexafluoride (UF6) from milled uranium ore (U3O8). Uranium hexafluoride is used in uranium processing that produces fuel for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. The plant made about 5,000 tons of uranium hexafluoride feed annually.
This facility is still operational, and the residual contamination period has been established as being from January 1, 1977 through the present.
The ACCP was also known as General Chemical Division, Allied Signal Metropolis Plant, and was later purchased by Honeywell.
A decision has been made that internal dose from nonuranium radionuclides cannot be reconstructed with sufficient accuracy for employees of ACCP during the AEC operations period 1959 through 1976. The primary source of internal radiation exposure at ACCP was uranium dust produced from the processing of uranium concentrates to produce uranium hexafluoride. It is assumed that the uranium was of natural enrichment before 1977, although there is some indication that the ACCP source term included a small amount of depleted uranium. Although the uranium ore concentrate contained uranium progeny of dosimetric interest as well as thorium (assumed to be 232Th and 228Th), only uranium dose is estimated for ACCP claims for the period January 1, 1959 through December 31, 1976.
SITE DESCRIPTION AND OPERATIONAL HISTORY:
The information that follows applies to the period of AEC operations at ACCP in Metropolis, Illinois, from January 1, 1959, to December 31, 1976, which involved AEC-contracted conversion of uranium ore concentrates to uranium hexafluoride. Opening ceremonies for the Allied Chemical’s fluorine plant occurred in October 1958 (Sloop 1978). The original license issue date was December 17, 1958 (NRC 2003, p. 8-9). Four claims (Claim Numbers redacted) include bioassay results in December 1958, and one of these from December 15, 1958, has a positive result that indicates that uranium exposures might have occurred in late 1958, before the DOE Office of Worker Advocacy-established covered period. The plant was closed temporarily on June 30, 1964, and AEC (1966) reported that it might reopen in 1966. A review of available worker dosimetry records indicated that some workers might have been laid off or transferred around this period, but that other workers were still on the site.
Documentation reviewed indicates that weapons related residual contamination exists outside the
listed operational period (NIOSH 2006b). Residual contamination from prior weapons-related
activities is indistinguishable from contamination produced during subsequent operations. This facility is still operational, and the residual contamination period has been established as being from January 1, 1977 through the present (NIOSH 2006b).
Detailed information about buildings and processes is provided in Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 and is based on descriptions written after the period of operations covered by this document. Individuals who worked at ACCP indicated that there was little variation in the processes over time. Because individual dosimetry results are available for the vast majority of workers at ACCP, the reconstructed doses will be based on the specific individual dosimetry.
The ACCP radiological source term started with the receipt of uranium ore concentrates. Some long-lived uranium progeny were included in the concentrates (e.g., 230Th and 226Ra). Uranium chemical forms included oxides, fluorides, and hexafluorides, which meant that exposures could have been to uranium solubility types F, M, and/or S.
The ACCP was also known as General Chemical Division, Allied Signal Metropolis Plant, and was
later purchased by Honeywell.
“On February 4, 1957, the Allied Chemical and Dye Corp. announced selection of Metropolis Ill., as the site of its plant to process 5,000 tons of U3O8 a year under contract with the [Atomic Energy] Commission” (AEC 1957). The official plant startup date appears to be January 1, 1959, but there are indications that uranium and uranium workers might have been on the site in late 1958. One individual reported participating in opening ceremonies at Allied Chemical’s fluorine plant at Metropolis, Illinois in October 1958 (Sloop 1978), which indicates that uranium exposure could have occurred as early as October 1958.
Allied Chemical operated its UF6 production facility using a dry conversion process (versus a wet solvent extraction process) to supply UF6 feed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant through June 30, 1964, under an AEC contract (Perkins 1982). In addition, Allied Chemical was sampling uranium concentrates for other entities as of 1982.
On June 30, 1964, the plant was temporarily closed. AEC (1966) reported that the plant “may be
reopened in 1966 for uranium hexafluoride production.” Perkins (1982) noted that ACCP resumed
operations in February 1968, but the available dosimetry records indicate that radiological exposures were still occurring at the plant between June 30, 1964, and February 1, 1968. Some of the claimant interviews and external dosimetry records show that a number of workers were on the site during the shutdown, and hiring was occurring in 1967, although these records also indicate that a number of workers were laid off in July 1964. The available records do not indicate what activities might have been ongoing in the plant during the shutdown period. However, based on U.S. Department of Labor job descriptions associated with one claim (Claim Number redacted), some processing operations might have continued at least on a sporadic basis.
The ACCP U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license (NRC 2003, p. 8-2) states:
The Allied Signal Metropolis Plant is located on approximately 1,000 acres of land in Massac County at the southern tip of Illinois, along the north bank of the Ohio River. The site perimeter is formed by US Highway 45 to the north, the Ohio River to the south, an industrial coal blending plant to the west and privately owned, developed land to the east. Plant operations are conducted in a single fenced-in, restricted area covering 59 acres in the north-central portion of the site.
The plant is now owned by Honeywell and is still providing UF6 to gaseous diffusion plants for use in the commercial sector.
The following description of the buildings is excerpted from ACCP licensing documentation (NRC
2003, pp. 8-8 to 8-9). The list was originally numbered 8.5.1 through 8.5.8, but has been simplified to 1 through 8 below.
Most of the uranium processing equipment is housed in a six-story structure termed the Feed Materials Building where essentially all of the steps in the UF6 manufacturing process are conducted. Other areas and buildings in which operations are conducted involving the handling or processing of significant quantities of source material include the following:
1. A Sampling Plant which receives samples or concentrates for uranium assay
and moisture content.
2. The Sodium Removal (pretreatment) and Uranium Recovery Facilities which are housed in buildings where high sodium content ore concentrates are treated to remove sodium impurity, and where materials are reprocessed to recover additional uranium.
3. The KOH [potassium hydroxide] muds washing facility which removes fluorides and KOH from the potassium diuranate muds generated in the fluorination scrubber system. The washed potassium diuranate is then processed through Sodium Removal. The wash liquors are neutralized at EPF [environmental protection facility, this facility probably did not exist during the early years].
4. The Calcining Facility which dries the incoming feed material and recovered uranium as the first step in ore preparation.
5. The Pond Mud Calciner Drier where hard/wet ore concentrates and KOH Muds are processed prior to packaging for blending with additional ore concentrates at the Feed Materials Building for conversion to UF6.
6. The Laboratory Building which houses facilities for conducting process control, product, and radiological control analyses.
7. The Cylinder Wash Building where UF6 product cylinders are periodically washed and hydrostatically tested prior to reuse.
8. Outdoor pads for storage of drums of ore concentrates and other uranium bearing materials, as well as UF6 product cylinders. Additional plant facilities which are involved directly in the UF6 manufacturing process but do not involve the handling of any significant quantities of source material include a fluorine manufacturing building, a fluoride waste treatment facility with four large CaF2 settling tanks, a powerhouse, a reductor off-gas incinerator, and two small uranium settling ponds to collect any uranium spills.
Allied Chemical was also involved in the manufacture of 30,000 pounds per week of liquid fluorine, 1,200 tons per year of sulfur hexafluoride, 2,500 pounds per week of antimony pentafluoride, and 10,000 pounds per week of iodine pentafluoride (Perkins 1982). These materials were not radioactive.
Recent activity at the site can be seen below:
Petition 67 (January 1, 1959 to December 31, 1976 )
SEC Petition Evaluation Report – Petition SEC-00067 – Report Rev # 0
Report Submittal Date __11/10/06
REVIEW OF THE NIOSH SITE PROFILE FOR ALLIED CHEMICAL CORPORATION PLANT, METROPOLIS, ILLINOIS
Site Profile for Allied Chemical Corporation Plant
Document Number: ORAUT-TKBS-0044 Revision: 02
Effective Date: 04/28/2014, Type of Document: TBD, Supersedes: Revision 01