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Heald Machine

Heald Machine Company

Introduction

This document serves as an appendix to Battelle-TBD-6000, Site Profiles for Atomic Weapons Employers that Worked Uranium and Thorium Metals. This appendix describes the results of document research specific to this site. Where specific information is lacking, research into similar facilities described in the body of this Site Profile is used.

Site Description

The Heald Machine Company located in Worcester, Massachusetts was subcontracted in June 1959 by National Lead of Ohio (NLO) to produce 1 precision drilling machine to perform centerless grinding of uranium slugs. The contract included a performance test of the drilling machine before delivery to NLO, the test to be performed at Heald Machine Company. This acceptance test occurred on one occasion over 4 days.

Site Activities

In May, 1960 an engineering acceptance test was conducted at Heald Machine Company to demonstrate the capability of a "multi-bore" drilling machine to drill four uranium slugs at a time. 100 solid uranium cylinder test pieces were contracted to be run, provided by NLO, along with the drill bits. There are no records of the actual number tested. There also are no records of any other work involving uranium at this site other than the May 1960 period. The actual test dates where uranium was processed are May 17-19, 1960. Decontamination was conducted from May 19-20, 1960, and is described as having no contamination above background level.

Campaign Process Details

Weeks prior to the tests with uranium, an engineer from NLO visited Heald Machine and observed the operation of the precision drilling machine, confirming its proper operation using cast iron slugs.

March 16,1960: Background air sampling was also performed on this date.

Background air sampling was also performed on this date.

May 17-19, 1960: The slug drilling test commenced and continued until noon on Thursday, May 19. Air samples were collected on May 18 during the test. The drilling machine was partially decontaminated and the floor vacuumed at the end of each working period. The drilling machine was located in an unventilated enclosure. Air monitoring results were essentially the same as the background samples collected prior to these tests.

: The slug drilling test commenced and continued until noon on Thursday, May 19. Air samples were collected on May 18 during the test. The drilling machine was partially decontaminated and the floor vacuumed at the end of each working period. The drilling machine was located in an unventilated enclosure. Air monitoring results were essentially the same as the background samples collected prior to these tests.

May 19-20, 1960: Full decontamination of the area and equipment was performed. All coolant with chips was collected and sealed in 30 gallon drums which were packed into 55 gal drums and returned to NLO. A survey of the area and equipment was performed to confirm no radiation levels above background. This work was completed at 3 PM on the 20th. All materials associated with the test were under the control of NLO and returned to NLO.

Residual Contamination

On May 19 & 20, 1960, after the engineering performance test had been completed a complete decontamination of the machine and surrounding area was performed. A radiation survey showed no radiation present above background levels. In 1990, the Department of Energy formally eliminated Heald Machine Company from the list of FUSRAP sites. It was deemed unlikely that any significant residual contamination was present due to the small quantities handled and the documented decontamination efforts, therefore there was little potential for exposure to residual contamination.

 

 

 

 

: Full decontamination of the area and equipment was performed. All coolant with chips was collected and sealed in 30 gallon drums which were packed into 55 gal drums and returned to NLO. A survey of the area and equipment was performed to confirm no radiation levels above background. This work was completed at 3 PM on the 20
: Full decontamination of the area and equipment was performed. All coolant with chips was collected and sealed in 30 gallon drums which were packed into 55 gal drums and returned to NLO. A survey of the area and equipment was performed to confirm no radiation levels above background. This work was completed at 3 PM on the 20
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