Woburn Landfill

Woburn Landfill

Woburn, Massachusetts

ALSO KNOWN AS: Winchester Engineering Vicinity Property


TIME PERIOD: 1955-1960


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

Fifty 55-gallon drums of low grade uranium ore were buried at the Woburn site. The material came from the AEC Raw Materials Development Laboratory (see the Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center) operated by the National Lead Company under contract from 1955-1960.



Documentation indicates that the material in question had an activity level similar to granite, and was dumped from the drums into a truck for disposition, and subsequently co-mingled with other refuse and waste. The original landfill was excavated in 1974 and was replaced with clean backfill to support construction of a light industrial complex.  Radiological surveys of the old landfill site and the new landfill (where the excavated material was taken to) do not indicate radioactivity greater than expected background levels at either facility.  It appears that the dumping of the contents from fifty drums occurred in 1960, whereupon the drums were reused. Based on the described low-level radiological characteristics of the material and subsequent radiological surveys from the affected areas there is no indication or reason to suspect residual contamination of any consequence existed beyond the date of 1960.



The sources of information used in this evaluation included:

--DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Website

--Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health Letter; G.Parker to W.Mott; Subject: Uranium in the Woburn Dump; October 15, 1979

--Oak Ridge National Lab Report; F.Haywood to A.Whitman; Subject: Soil Sample Analysis results; June 20, 1980



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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