Norton Corp. - Worcester, MA

1945-1957; Residual Radiation 1958-July 2006

FACILITY DESCRIPTION: DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website:

Norton manufactured refractory products from boron, beryllium, uranium, thorium, and magnesium oxide for the MED and the AEC.

As early as 1943, Norton was providing boron to the SAM laboratory. Documents show that Norton began working with beryllium for the MED in approximately September 1944 and that work with beryllium continued through 1956. Work with thorium and uranium continued through 1957 at Norton's Worcester location.

Norton continued to manufacture refractory products until at least 1965 for the AEC weapons complex, including Rocky Flats, Hanford and Y-12. However, after 1957 these contracts specified that the refractory products were to be made out of magnesium oxide. Since magnesium oxide is not radioactive, Norton's work with it does not qualify it as an Atomic Weapons Employer for these years.


Norton also provided thorium and uranium products to the MED/AEC. The company produced uranium crucibles for Argonne and fused thoria slugs that were irradiated in Hanford reactors. Contracts indicate Norton continued to produce refractory materials for the AEC until 1961.

Documentation reviewed indicates work with radioactive materials, performed for the AEC may have ended sometime in the late 1950s. Norton received an AEC license in the mid 1950s.

A US NRC Document, SECY 97-067, states that remediation of the interior of the building had been completed, and the NRC surveys confirmed that the interior satisfies NRC criteria for release for unrestricted use. However, NRC evaluation of the company's remediation activities for the buried sewer pipe is ongoing.


Sources of information reviewed during this evaluation included:

--DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website

--US NRC SECY 97-067, March 26, 1997



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

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