MIT Radiation Labs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

TIME PERIOD: 1942-1946

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) began experimental work on producing uranium metal in the spring of 1942 using a process involving melting and casting. It is this uranium metallurgical work which took place on the MIT campus by MIT employees that supports its designation as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE).

MIT is also designated as a beryllium vendor. MIT's work with beryllium was known as the "Metallurgical Project" and started when it entered into a research and development contract with the Manhattan Engineer District (MED). The Metallurgical Project involved studying the characteristics of beryllium metal and attempting to make a satisfactory beryllium-uranium alloy. In addition, beryllium oxide crucibles were made for use by the MED.

After a number of its employees contracted beryllium disease, MIT consolidated the activities described above in an off-campus site known as the Hood Building, which is a separate covered facility under the EEOICPA. The transition to the Hood Building was complete by the fall of 1946.


Documentation indicates uranium extraction research was performed by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1942 through 1946. In 1946, MIT reportedly transferred the operations to the Watertown Arsenal (Bldg 421). Documentation is not clear as to what activities were conducted at the MIT Cambridge site from 1946 through 1954 when operations were moved to the Hood Building.

The Hood building was recently reclassified as a Department of Energy facility and is not considered in this report.


Sources of information reviewed during this evaluation included:

 --DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website



Documentation reviewed indicates that there is little potential for significant residual contamination outside of the period in which weapons-related production occurred.

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