1944-11-28 – Manhattan Project – Security Lapses at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works

IN REPLY REFER TO ,f.1100.00S'. &~J8 .... This docm~en' consists Of. •••.~ •... View Document


1965-11-05 – AEC – Committee Report on Disposition of St. Louis Airport Storage Site

/ ..
The. Commission maintains a 21.74 acre residue storage site adjacent
to the St. Louis, Missouri, municipal airport. The site lies
approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis. It is
bounded by Brown Road to the North and East, the Wabash Railroad
main line on the South, and Coldwater Creek on the Vest (which is
also the property line of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation). South
of the Wabash Railroad right-of-way lies Lambert-St. Louis Municipal
Airport and an area occupied by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation.
Aircraft take-off and landing patterns cross the property. A location
map is attached as Exhibit 1. An aerial photograph, Exhibjt 2,
locates the site with respect to adjoining property.
The site is completely fenced; there is a roadway access gate on the
North-side and a railroad gate on the South side, allowing Wabash
Railroad service to the plant via a spur line off the main line
track. The complete area, with its mounds of raffinate residues,
stacks of drums, hodge-podge of. scrap and temporar.y type structures,
has the appearance of a. typical spoil area common to chemical
indu3tries having residue storage ptoblems.
Consent to use and occupy the tract vas obtained by the Manhattan
Engineer District on March 2, 1946. Title vaa acquired to the
~operty on January 3, 1947, by condemnat~on proceedings for
‘20,000. The property was acquired for the purpose of storing
residues from the Destrehan Street Refinery and the Metals Plant.
The major capital improvements to the site were a concrete pit,
202 ft. x 42 ft. x 16 ft., constructed to store radi~bearing
residues (though it vas never used for this purpose), a covered
concrete pad 45 ft. x 250ft. for the storage of drummed materials
and a railroad siding with loading tipple. A detailed description
of the structures on site is given a·s the last section of this
The site vas operated by the Manhattan Engineer District and the
Commission from 1946 until J1.1ly 1953. when the operation vas
turned over to Mallinckrodt Chemical Works. Guards were maintained
at the site from 1946 to 1951.
The Destrehan Refinery started operations in 1946, utili~ing
pitchblende ores and continued o.o this feed until early in 1955.
– 1 ..
I . I
___ ..,…. –…. ~ -…. —..t -·–·. ·-·-·————-· ., … ….. … -~—— -·—–··· ….. j
The procurement contract for these ores with African ~tals
Corporation required the United States to store both the pitchblende
raffinate (AM-7), which contains metal values other than uranium,
such as nickel. cobalt, and copper, as well as the radi~bearing
residues (K-65). as African Metals retained ownership of all
uterial except’ .its uranium content. African Metals. subsequent~
transferred ownership of the ~7 raffinate to the Government.
A large concrete pit vas constructed to store the radium-bearing
residue (~65) but was not used for this purpose due to health
reasons. Instead, this residue was stored in drums at the site,.
from 1946 until early in 1948. It was then transferred to the Lake
Ontario Storage Area, Model City, Nev York, in 1948 and 1949. lhe
~7 vas stored on the ground in the open where it remains today,
except far about 350 tons of pitchblende raffinate (A~7} which vere
processed in a small pilot plant facility at Destrehan Street to
recover ionium. This material was processed in 1955-1957 and
returned to the originfl raffinate storage at the site.
The raffinate (AM-10) produced from subsequent operations using nonpi1chblende
feeds was stored separately. A barium cake residue
(AJ-4) produced b.f the refinery is also stored at the site; this
residue resulted from the precipitation of digest liquor with barium
carbonate to reduce its sulphate content. Both of these materials
are stored on open ground. ,
The residues generated by the refinery aggregate to greater than
95% of the material presently stored at the Airport Site.
The other major components of residues were generated as slag from
the reduction step of the metal operations at Destrehan Street.
Two types of this material have been generated. Initially the
reduction. bombs were lined with dolomite. The used dolomite liner
(C-liner) was shipped from Destrehan Street and stored at the Airport
Site in bulk on the ground. Shipments of the dolomite slag started
in March 1946 and continued until early in 1953 when the dolomite
liner was replaced by a recycle magnesium fluorine liner. Approximately
half of the C-liner has since been shipped to FMPC for
recovery of the uranium content.
In 1955 an Interim Residue Plant was constructed at Destrehan Street
to scalp the uranium content from the magnesium fluoride slag produced
in the Metals Plant. tailings from this operation (C-701)
were stored in the concrete pit at the Airport Site, and since have
all been shipped to FKPC for recovery of the contained uranium.
By 1960 there also had accumulated at the storage site approximately
50,000 empty drums and 3500 tons of contaminated stee1 and alloy
scrap. Hovever, by 1962 the bulk of these materials had been disposed
of for the metal salvage values.
– 2-
,I ‘ .
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……….. -· .. —-·- –~·- .. — ……………… ·-·—·
Approximately 2400 drums remain in the area; these c~ain aiscellaneous
residues, Japanese uranium-containing send and contaminated
scrap materials.
Katerbl presently stored at the site is suamnari%ed belcnn
Gross Tons Approx.Tons U
Pitchblende Raffinate (AK-7)
hffinate (AK-10)
Barium Cake (AJ-4)
Other Miscellaneous Residues
· aDd Captured Japanese U
C-li.ner s 1a g
The original ground purchased 1D 1946 vas very uneven· and contained
e lov drainage area on the western section of the site. The land had
a drainage slope from East to West, with all surface drainage directed
to the Coldwater Creek at the western edge of the property. The
initial topography of the site is shown in the aerial photograph,
Exhibit 6.
It has been extremely difficult to reconstruct precisely the sequence
and location of contaminated materials and residues deposited on site.
The Committee has collected from various files and from McDonnell
Aircraft Corporation a series of aerial photographs which depict the
transition at the original site to its present state. Various reports,
drawings and sketches were also located which contributed to a general
understanding of the degree of contamination of the site. Numerous
individuals associated with the Airport Storage Site have been contacted;
however, since such a time has lapsed since the active
operation of the site, much of the information obtained by these
verbal inquiries is qualified by \Ulcertainties of memory. .Also, many
of the people who were intimately associated with the site during
its earcy operation are no longer available.
Judging from the knowledge gleaned from the above sources, it appears
that with respect to the western part of the site, early dispositions
of contaminated scrap metal were located in the low areas then existing
on the western end of the property. The scrap metal and other
debris were later covered (in 1952} with dirt received (gratis) Crom
McDonnell Aircraf’t Corporation and worked vi th heavy equipaent to
~ke a level storage area (see Exhibit 7). The reclaimed area is
nov occupied by AM-10 raffinate, drums of Japanese sand and contaminated
rubble and other waste from Destrehan Street •
• 3-

,’. :. .
The existence of buried contaminated metal below the present surface
of the western section of the site was confirmed by tes; drilling
4escribed elsewhere in this report. Underground contaminated scrap
is reported to be on the order of magnitude of 50 to 60 truckloads
plus one contaminated vehicle.
the eastern two-thirds of the site presently is covered with mounds
of C-liner slag, raffinate (AH-7)t and barium cake (AJ-4). These
mounds of residue rise to approximately 20 feet above normal ground
level. Drainage from the mounds and the adjoining areas is directed
to the Coldwater Creek.
Drainage waters from the storage area have, in the past, produced
some minor contamination in Coldwater Creek. Continued monitoring
of the complete area and the creek waters, however, has indicated
that significant levels have never been reached and that all radiation
readings are well within permissible and acceptable limits presently
prescribed by .AEC directives and manuals.
A topographic survey map of the site (Exhibit 3) shows the existing
limits of residue stockpiles, the general topography of the remaining
area on the basis of one root contour intervals and the location of
principal structures at the site. The aerial photograph, Exhibit 4,
shows the site essentially as it exists today.
The area is inclosed by a chain link fence. It contains the following
A reinforced concrete pit consisting of floor slab and walls,
200 ft. long x 42 ft. wide by 12 ft. deep.
A storage shed consisting of a 250 ft. x 45 rt. concrete floor
pad, with a center wall 7 ft. high and 1 ft. thick running the
length of the structure. The pad is covered with a corrugated
metal roof supported on wood columns and trusses. Sides and
ends of the shed are open.
A single track railroad spur which enters the south fence near
the east end of the site.
A steel and wood· tipple is located along the spur.
A timber drum loading platform, 18! ft. x 8 f’t. x 3!- ft. high,
with stone fill ramp, is located just east of the tipple.
A reinforced concrete wash pad for trucks, measuring 51! ft. x
3Si rt. is located east of the Storage Shed.
1 l
• • ) .•
– —•-<# ---~------or• 14 -·-----......... ·- -~- -- ·-· ·--- ~-----. . ~.·-· .. ··-·-----·-····-A ____ , • If,. . - A reinforced concrete truck loading platform with tamp is located north of the wash pad and adjacent to the vest end of the Barium Sulfate residue. It is T-shaped, measuring 24 .rt. long x 6Sf ft. vide at the north side x lSi ft. vide at the south si~e. Three single-story wood buildings are also located· on the sitea A 32 tt. x 1~ .ft. office building at the main gate on the north side of the area. A 24j- ft. x 12 ft. guard house also at the main gate •. A 9 rt. X 7 ft. portable guard house located near the south fence, midway of the property. , - 5- . -.. -)..


1986-02-13 – DOE – St. Louis Airport Cake Residues – Congo Raffinates – Cotter Concentrate

1602 Cedar Avenue
Canon Cit y, CO 81212
February 13 , 1986
Edward Delaney
Department of Energy
Washington, D. C. 20545
Re : St Louis Airport Cake Residues a/k/a Congo
Raf finates a / k/a Cotter Concentrate
In “History of the Mallinckrod t Airport Cakes Residues” , presented at the
Denver Mater ials Meeting i n Y~y of 1966, Walter J . Haubach , Isotope Separation
Manager , Mound Laboratories, reported that “most of t he pitchblende
processed by Mallinckrodt was obtained as a concentrate from the Belgian
Congo in 1944 and was shipped to St. Louis from the Congo in 55 gallon
metal dru:ns .”
Af ter processing by Mallinckrodt, t he material ~ent i nto storage and became
known as “Airport Cake”.
Regarding Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Section 40.21 of the Code of Federal
Regulations , Title 10 – Atomic Ener gy Chapter 1 , part 40 – Control of Sou r ce
Q. Did the residues (Airport CAkes) that resulted from this
foreign originating concentrate material meet the specif ications
for domestic source material?
In a 1966 AEC Research and Development Report, MLM-1349, Survey of Sources
of Ionium (Tho rium-2 30) , Mound Laboratory, Miamisburg , Ohio, reports that
“These residues are the best known source of Thorium -230”.
In Harbach•s History, it is reported that Oak Ridge Operations contacted
the St. Louis Area office and asked to hold up action concern i ng the Airport
sludge until “long range requiements f or Thorium-230 could be fixed.”
Q. In what manner , or by what action, where t he long range
requirements f ixed?
Q. Was the Thori um-230 content a consideration when the AEC
a l l owed Commercial Dis count, in 1967 , to transfer the
residues to Cotter Corporation for removal to their Canon
City, Colorado mill site?
page – 2-
Q. Was Cotter Corporation advised by the AEC as to the
Thorium-230 content of the uranium contaminated residues
when they took possession and transfered the material
t o Colorado?
Q. Was the Seate of Colorado advised by the AF.C as t o t he
Tho r iu:n- 230 content when Col orado became an agreement:
state on February 1 , 1968?
Your prompt response to these questions will be greatly appreciated .
Respectfully ,
,) :·~- g,,._.;rt2′,,_,,_
Lynn E. Boughton


1960-03-29 – AEC – Preliminary proposal for disposal of residue storage area — Airport Site, Robertson, Missouri

ln Reply
Poat Office Box 470
St. Charlee, Missouri
Refer To: C:Gllll
t>r. C. D. Harri!.~ton, Man~er
Uranium Division
Mallinckrodt Chemical Worl~s
Post Office Box 472
St. Charles. Missouri
Attention: Mr. J. c. Graham
MAR 2 S 1960
‘1JJS·- 32/; -·11- 051- I
$.;.17.J~~ z s Jf;c~ ,4 ~6’Z -S
YI! U . o I
Dear Dr. 11.:lrrington:
Enclosed are two copies of preliminary proposal dated Mltrch 24, l96V,
“t>isposal of Residue Storage Area, Airport Sit~, Robertson, Missouri”,
prepared by the St. Louis Area Office and submitted to Oak Ridge
Operations Office on March 25, 1960, requesting that a directive. be
issued in accordance with Manual Chapter 61Q6-031.
This office will not.Hy you when the direct.ive authorization is
received at which ti.me luinp·sum and unit price subcontracts will be
prepat’ed by Mallinckrodt Chemic;al Works to pel”form all disposal
JC ti vi tics indicated in the preliminary pt’opoaal.
\Enclow~e’ \\Cy Preli.Minary Proposal
‘”dtd 3/24/60 (in dup.)
Very truly yours.
F. H. Belc:her
Area Manager


1959-04-11 – AEC – Manhattan Project – History of the St Louis Airport Site

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• do . 1 -L rL !, ( ~ 1, ~ .. . 2
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· General In!omation
‘nle Cormnieeion maintains a residue storage area known as the Airport Site at Robertecn,
. Miseouri. 1hie site is located irranediately north or the St. Louie Municipal Airport
and east of the McD:>nnell Aircraft Corporation Plant on Brown Road in St. Louis County.
Consent to use and occupy the 21. 7 acre tract vas obtained by the Manhattan Di.striot
on March 2, 1946. title vaa acquired to the properiy” on January 31 1947 b7 oond4111nation
proceedings for ‘20,000. It was acquired for the purpose or storing residues !rom the
Destrehan Street Refinery and the Metal Plant at Plant 4. A covered co12arete storage
pad 16′ x 2501 was Qonetructed tor storing drums. A concrete pit 202′ x L2′ x 161 vaa
constructed to store radium bearing re8idues (K-6’). ‘lhe area was enclosed vi.th a chainlink
fence. Later a small blilding containing showers, change room and office epaoe was
moved to the site. A railroad siding· and loading facilities were completed in April 1959
The eite was operated by the Manhattan District and the Cononission .f’rom l 9U6 until July
1953 when the operation ·was turned over to Mallinckrodt Chemical Works. Guards were
maintained at the site from 1946 to 1951.
1 In the Metal Pl.ant at Pl.ant 4 nnd later in the new Metal Pl.ant at Destrehan Street ( 6E),
the slag from the reduction step was separated into two parts. The slag !mmediately
‘ above the derby consisting mainly· of MgF2 was sent to the Vitro Corporation at CanonsrurE
Pa., .f’or uranium recovery. ‘!he renaining slag (C-Liner), consisting mainly of dolomite
liner with leas than 2% uranium content, was stored at the site’ in bulk on the ground.
These ehipments started on March 10, 1946 and continued until early in 1 953 when the
dolomite liner was replaced by a recycle MgF2 liner.
‘lhe Deetreban Refinery started up in 1946 and continued to use pitchblende ores ~ a fee(
until eaTl7 in 1955, The contract to purchase these ores vi th African Metals Corporatj.or.
required the U. 8. to store the ra!finate (A.M-7), containing metallics such as nickel,
cobalt, and copper, and radium bearing r esidues (K-65). Af’rlcan Metals retained ownership
of all material except the uraniUll\ content. Although other concentrates were processed
during the period, the ra.ffinates were not e eparated. ‘Ibey vere stored in bulk
on the ground at the site. The pit constructed to store the radium bearing residue
(K-65) vae not used due to health reasoNS. This residue (K-65) was stored at the site
from 1946 until early in 1948 in drums. ‘!his was transferred to the Lake Ontario storag1
area in 1948 and 1949 after most of the material had’ been reworked to reoover additional
uranium values. ‘lbe ra!finate (AM-10) produced after the pitchblende ores vere used was
stored separately. A barium cake residue (AJ-4) produced by 1the refinery ie also stored
at the sit~. ‘?his residue is a result of a precipitation to reduce sulphate content or
digest liquor. African Metals Corporation has r elinquished! owner~hip of the bariUll cake,
In 1955 an interim residue plant vas constructed at the Destrehan Street si ta to scalp
a major portion of the u.ranium content from the maghesiUJll ~luoride sl.a.g produced in the
Metal Plant. Tailings from thie operation were stored in the concrete pit at the site.
About 350 torus of the pitchblende raffinate (AM-T) were proeessed in a small pilot plant
facility at Destrehan Street to recover ionium. ‘Ihis material wae processed in 1955-195~
and returned to the original r affinate storage at the site.
Plans for Disposition of the Abov·e Material
Interim residue plant tailings are presently being shipped to Fernald and ‘are being processed
t’or urariium recovery at a rate of 200 tons per month. It is planned to increase
_.. ., .. -· _ …. .,..Jr _ _ ” . — c
thi.e rate to about 600 tons p81’ montH in July 19)9. Atter this 111atenal hae been con-
. “8amed at .Fernald, the slag CC-Liner} will be act to Fernald toro proo•sing.
Ot the ~s.ooo 30- and SO-gallon drwne 1t0red at the •ite, appztoxlllatel.7 101000 30-pllon
drum• u~ being aold. ‘!be r.Undel’ are unsaleable and will probabl.7 have to be baled
and sold a• 1onp metal, to1ethel’ With the 3,Soo tone ot other contaminated steel and
allo7 1orap al10 1tored at the eite. It 11 tl;)eot9’1 that procedure• will be e1tabliabed
at an earl1 date tor di1po1ition or thi• oontlminated 1orap metal.
I ‘
‘!be V1 tro Corporation ot Canona’biirg, Pa., aontracted Vi th the Atnoan M9tal.1 Corporation
to pvoh111 the J)itohblend• rattinate (AM-7) toie reoov81’1 ot nickel, cobalt, and copper.
‘lhe Co11111d.aa1on entel’ed into a contract with the Vitro Corporation to purchase ul”anilllft
w.l.uee rlOO’Hl”d trom the rattin&te. Since the market value ot nickel, cobalt, and
copper ha.,. deoreaetd 00111S.del’ab17 1n th• l&•t tfltl 79ar1, it· 11 undtntood that ft.tro
Corporation bu cancelled th• contract. It ii our under1tanding that the African Metals
Corporation 1111lJ’ abandon the 111ateM.al in the near tutve. Ho plans have been made to recover
the Urani.W!l values ot this 111aterial.
1here are no current plans to dispose or •111′ ot the ranaining materials.
SUJ11111&ry ot Material Stoted at the Site
Airport Storage Inventoey – April 11, 19$9
Gross To~ Tona U
Pitchblende Raftinate, AK-7
Rattinate, AH-10
Slag, C-Linar
Int81’bs Residue Plant 1a1.11.nga, C-701
Baria Cake, AJ-h
?.ltro baidues
Captured Japan•• U, Preoipitatea
SS,ooo )0-0allon It SO..Oallon 1>ruMs
Steel and Allo7 Scrap
122.) m.4
•Based ‘on vetght or material delivered to site Vi.th no adjustment
tor 11SOiature pick-up.
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•• ·’ l’\ t +’ •
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1943-01-28 – Mallinckrodt – Staff Associated with Manhattan Project

REPOSITORY ;tiM d 112 Jf/}-‘(; f 4-tfol/t~J
l2 if- 3..2 6 – J.-.r-lf?.r- .
COLLECTION eu1uctL C-E/f/[jfl'{L /:’1 /e..f
BOXNo. /;+
\ ;’ -.._._;
Colonel R. G. Marshal.1
The District Engineer
M•nhattan District
P. o. Box 42, Station F
New York, N. I.
Dear Colonel Marshalls
A. IJ C. SIX1″H E:O.
Referring to your lett.er of January 6 relative to our.organi-
~ation chart~ I regret that in the press of other matters there ha.a been
some delay in replying.
In order to pr-osecute this project with the best possible
speed and at the same time maintain all possible· s.ecrecy > we have found
it necessary to organize a group who are responsible for thie project and
who do not necessarily function through usual channels of our cosps.ny
organization.· ·The following is a list or the personnel responsible for
the operation of this project, together with the particular function of
Project leader, reeponsible for the administration
and over-all coordination of activities Mr. H .. v. Farr
Aesistant project leader, responsible for plant
construction and operation ~- L. s. Williama
Chemica.l. research and process development Dr. J. R. Lacher
Control and operation of Oxide Plant Dr. J. A. Kyger
Engineering Wld equipment design Dr. c. E. Winters
2003801 Procuremeni of materials and correspondence
coordination :itr. H. E. Thayer
Analytical Dr. c. R. Conard
… ,.., —;.-,-i Dr. A• ~. Butler ·—: -. A….._ _
–·—–~ . .._ …… ,,
-0 –
as foll<»•ec U. iaallir.clt:roat f"P 2003802 •.._..,._, / Mr. s. ~ .. • • n. ~r .. T .. ,. ( ( .>
~. Col&un
…. ti!,.. n”a:7eir
1’i~terG, Jr.

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