Davison Chemical Company

Draft. ...

From scanned copy of (1951) "Davison Chemical - It's background and Contributions since 1832"

From scanned copy of (1951) "Davison Chemical - It's background and Contributions since 1832"; (See [aa1][ GDrive ] ).

The story of Davison goes back about [nearly 200 years as of 2019], and it is largely a record of development around sulfuric acid. [...]

Early in the 18th Century, about 1736, the first commercial sulfuric acid was produced at Richmond, England, by a Doctor named Joshua Ward, who was of doubtful character but of very considerable ingenuity, considering the status of the chemical science and the art of manufacture in his day. Ward set up glass containers or vats of up to 66 gallons capacity in two rows in a sand bath, each container provided with a little water. The containers resembled so many fat geese, with long, thin necks reaching into earthen pots. Each pot rested on a red hot dish and contained a mixture of one part saltpetre and eight parts brimstone. The process was controlled by wooden plugs in the bottles. When fresh air was admitted, the reaction started up, and the process was repeated until the acid reached a standard strength. The Ward method was known as“oil of vitriol by the bell.” John Roebuck, another Englishman, in 1746, led the way to improvements in the process with his lead‐condensing chambers. Methods of manufacture during the rest of the 18th Century varied little after Roebuck’s useful modification.

Here in the United States of America the first sulfuric acid manufacture was undertaken at Philadelphia, in 1792, by John Harrison. He used the lead chamber process and, by 1807, had an annual capacity of a half million pounds of acid. Harrison is credited with being the first to use platinum in the manufacture of sulfuric acid.

[aa2][ GDrive ]WILLIAM T. DAVISON (circa 1804-1881)

William T. Davison [...] was born in Belfast and educated at the University of Belfast, where he majored in chemistry. His father was a well-to-do Belfast merchant, but the younger Davison ignored the easier opportunity of success at home for adventure abroad, and, in 1825, he left Ireland with his new bride and crossed the Atlantic on a sailing vessel, arriving at the Port of New York. After a short stay in New York City, Davison decided to go to Baltimore [for reasons history did not record].

When Davison arrived, America was a young and primarily an agricultural nation seriously affected by the growing pains of its industrial development. Producers abroad did not like the idea of the young nation developing industrially, and many American importers and legislators added much to the troubles of the men who were attempting to create new industries. At this time, too, the Nation was in the throes of a severe business recession, aftermath of the War of 1812. It suffered the economic turmoil of a country without stable money, without an adequate banking system, and without basic business discipline.

Agriculture itself was in process of change. The European farmers coming to America soon learned that the soil they tilled was not as rich as the soil of the British Isles and of the Continent. Many New Englanders already were heading West: to new and richer lands beyond the Appalachians.

The South was profoundly affected by Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin. This brought cotton out of the category of a luxury cloth and greatly increased the demand for it. In response, the farmers expanded their acres and intensified the cultivation, with a result that the soils were exhausted of their virgin plant foods.

To restore lost fertility, farmers resorted to use of natural fertilizers from whatever source it was possible to obtain them, in this respect following the experience of agriculture throughout time. One important such source, at that time, was guano, the deposit of gulls, cormorants, and penguins who find refuge in rookeries on ocean islands and along shores. It provides a combination of phosphates and nitrogen, a basic type of fertilizer.

American maritime history makes much of the Baltimore Clippers running a wet nose into the teeth of the storm, and whalers ploughing through the Tasman Sea, competing with the Clydeside boats out of Hobart for the sperm oil of Moby Dick. Carrying cotton to Shanghai or chasing whales in the Antarctic may be a bit more glamorous to read about than searching the Pacific for guano deposits on volcanic islands, but the sailors found an eager market among farmers of the Atlantic Coastal Plains for this natural deposit, and they rendered a generous service to those early growers of corn, cotton, and tobacco. There was mystery, too, in the lives of the guano sailors who cruised the coast of South America to islands like Chincha off Peru, or the strange Falcon Island, remote and fickle to the map makers. One crew actually reported that on a voyage to Falcon, they saw that volcanic peak settling slowly beneath the waves. This island played hide-and-seek with the sailors several times in the 19th Century, probably as a result of volcanic action on the deep floor of the Pacific; but, unfortunately, when Falcon Island subsided under the waves, it washed away a great commercial asset in its guano deposits.

With agriculture predominant in the economy and dependent upon natural fertilizer, and with industry finding the going so difiicult, there was little demand in those days for the products of chemistry.As late as 1831, the total capital invested in 30 chemical plants in the United States was $1,158,000. Philadelphia was the young Nation’s most important chemical market. The chief products of the fledgling industry, in addition to sulfuric acid, were sal‐ammoniac, alum, potash, copperas, Epsom salts, small amounts of white lead and other paint chemicals, and alcohol. The chemical industry then, as now, revolved around sulfuric acid, and was largely influenced by the price and availability of this indispensable chemical. Local supplies of brimstone or other sulfur compounds were unknown or inaccessible, and the producer of acid of that time had to depend upon brimstone imported from Sicily. It was almost a hundred years later that the sulfur domes of Louisiana and Texas were to make their remarkable contribution to the World’s chemical industry.

This, then, was the not very encouraging picture that met the searching eyes of William T. Davison. We know him to have been a man of restless and inventive bent; he must have been one of vision also, because he not only chose the chemical industry for his lifework, but influenced it in directions which were to bring about its rapid expansion.

Davison organized the firm of Davison and Kettlewell in I832, and erected the first sulfuric acid chamber in the South. From [the] beginning, sulfuric acid has dominated Davison production throughout the years. An early advertisement describes the function of Davison and Kettle well as: “Grinders and Acidulators of Old Bones and Oyster Shells.”

Ground bones were dumped into a pit in the ground, one man pouring in the sulfuric acid, while another stirred the mass with a large wooden paddle. The mass was permitted to set for several days, screened, and prepared for shipment.

The crude design of the early lead chamber sulfuric acid plant, and the method just described for producing phosphate bear little resemblance to our modern contact acid plants and superphosphate plants today. The important point for us is that Davison, displaying sound imagination of the able man of business, succeeded in linking together, for the benefit of each, the Country’s tiny chemical industry with its primary pursuit of agriculture. He got into fertilizer manufacture to provide a use for his sulfuric acid, a union that has endured to this day. Davison, in developing his business, was chemist first and manufacturer afterward, and, in the early years of his business life, he continually was experimenting with acids, pharmaceuticals, and paints. Some years after starting the manufacture of superphosphate from old bones, he found a more economical raw material, in South Carolina rock phosphate, which, treated with the acid, provided an equally satisfactory superphosphate.

Competition then, as now, was a stimulus to enterprise, and, in 1836, another sulfuric acid plant was built in this Baltimore area by Dr. Philip S.Chappell. Alum and other chemicals were added products, but the company ran into financial difficulties and had an unfortunate career until it was destroyed by fire. Thereafter a new plant was erected by Chappell on the Patapsco River, at the mouth of Curtis Bay. This plant covered about five hundred acres and was the largest sulfuric acid plant in the United States at the time.

The coming of railroads was a genuine incentive to the Davison business, and Davison was an active supporter of and investor in the Iron Horse, which brought Baltimore, with its strategic location as a gateway to the Southeast, West, and North, into closer contact with the farming regions.

A period of expansion for Davison followed. In 1855, he dissolved his connection with Kettlewell, and the firm was reorganized as Davison, Symington and Company. About 1860, he formed a new company with one of his sons at its head, which was described as a manufacturer of chemicals, paints, varnishes, and allied products. In 1867, he was operating both The Maryland White Lead Works for paints, varnishes, and allied products, and the firm of William T. Davison, located in the Canton section of the Baltimore waterfront, for the production and distribution of quinine, calomel, Epsom salts, and heavy chemicals, in addition to Davison, Symington and Company, for production of sulfuric acid.

The history of Davison would not be complete without a tribute to Gustavus Ober, who also contributed a great deal to the development of industry in Baltimore. Some twenty years after Davison’s association with Kettlewell in the construction of a sulfuric acid chamber, Ober became associated with Kettlewell in the production of a fertilizer which they referred to as “Manipulated Guano.” This was in 1852. They processed guano shipped from Peru and Mexico to provide a more complete plant food than the natural guano provided, and their formula was almost identical in the ratio of nitrogen and phosphoric acid with present day fertilizer requirements.

William T. Davison died on October I8, I881, leaving his sons to carry on his many business interests. Before and after his death there were several corporate successions which finally resulted in the formation by Calvin T. Davison and others, of the Davison Chemical Company . It operated two plants in the city, and likewise the Hawkins Point acid plant originally built by Chappell. It was Calvin Davison who, in 1909, sought and obtained for his company capital to start construction of a new sulfuric acid plant at Curtis Bay, [which as of 1851 was the home of the] company’s Baltimore manufacturing and research operations. Thus again, sulfuric acid provided the stimulus for a noteworthy development in Davison history. Facilities for the production of normal superphosphate at this plant were to make it the largest single operation of its kind in the World.

During the First World War the Davison Company increased its sulfuric acid production to meet the requirements of munitions. This left it with excess capacity following the War, and led to the expansion of the Company through the acquisition of ownership or control of about sixty fertilizer plants located throughout the eastern and southern parts of the United States. Fertilizer production and distribution was considered then as somewhat of a “feast-or-famine” business, one in which conservative investors were loathe to participate; but volume was thought of generally as a protection against the vicissitudes of the business cycle. This philosophy was proven to be fallacious when the dark days of the early ’thirties struck the Company. The effect of a drastic curtailment of consumption by farmers, plus decline in prices, was to make, of the many scattered fertilizer plants, a real financial burden. The Company was forced into receivership, in 1933 [, bringing Chester F Hockley] into the Davison picture as a receiver.

[World War I marked a dividing line for] the corporate history of the Davison Company. Technological developments following the First World War [led to tremendous changes in the chemical industry and gave] rise to many new industries based on chemical processes.

[...] Following the reorganization process of the receivership in which [the company] became The Davison Chemical Corporation, many of the fertilizer plants were disposed of. This was a drastic but necessary surgical operation on the corporate body. It reduced [Davison's] fertilizer capacity by about 50 percent, but most of the plants which were disposed of were obsolescent or poorly located for profitable operation. [Davison Chemical Corporation] retained a few modern plants strategically located in good agricultural regions.

At the same time, a program of diversification was decided upon and emphasis placed on Research and Development. Henceforth Davison emphasis was to be less on agricultural chemicals and more on industrial chemicals, with sulfuric acid basic in most of them.

The agricultural field was not neglected, however, particularly in view of the rising economic importance of the farmer; and, while disposing of unprofitable facilities, an opportunity came to bring into the Davison fold the plant of G. Ober & Sons, the enterprise whose founder was mentioned earlier. This firm had developed a process for granulating superphosphate which represented a totally new development in fertilizer technology, in which the product is made in the form of coarse granules rather than powdered, with advantages from both the agronomic and economic viewpoints. Thus it was that through the granulation process the Ober and Davison heritages and skill and enterprise in fertilizer and chemical manufacture were again united, after a lapse of. many decades. Later, the Ober granulation process was superseded by a Davison process developed by our own research staff and this is being steadily improved to increase efficiency of operation, obtain lower costs, and improve the products.

The reorganized company was in the position of being one of the larger manufacturers and marketers of superphosphate, and of having other products derivative from the process, but without a source of raw material. Correction of this weakness was not practicable until 1946, when we purchased phosphate rock deposits at Bartow, Florida, and complete mining and processing facilities. The Florida operation enables us to market raw rock phosphate as such, and it provides our complete control over a production sequence from mining, through processing of rock to fertilizer and many new products of industrial chemistry. ‘

This, in summary, was the course taken with [Davison Chemical Corporation's] heritage from earlier days in the field of fertilizers. The processes are based on sulfuric acid, and their efficiency is dependent upon an efficient source of the acid. Accordingly, step by step, [Davison Chemical Corporation has and continued to (as of 1951) enlarge and modernize it's] sulfuric acid facilities at Curtis Bay.

[...] Sulfuric Acid forges a link between agricultural and industrial chemistry in more ways than one. For instance, there is an important co‐product development in superphosphate production. When rock phosphate is caused to react with sulfuric acid, gases are liberated, among them fluorine in the form of silicon tetrafluoride. This is a very valuable substance which, by chemical means, is converted into a family of products known as silicofiuorides that are in great demand for a variety of purposes.

But to find the main stream of [Davison Chemical Corporation's] industrial chemical development it is necessary to go back to the days of the First World War and to the introduction of silica gel into the Davison picture. Here, also, excess sulfuric acid production was a factor in the development of this new product, just as it had been with William T. Davison’s entry into fertilizer processing.

Silica Gel establishes a tie with one of our important Baltimore institutions, because the story of silica gel is a tribute to the primary research of The Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Walter A. Patrick, a professor of physical chemistry at Johns Hopkins, [...] made one of the earliest contributions to the commercial production of silica gel. During the First World War he was working, at the request of the United States Chemical Warfare Service, on the selection of a material capable of adsorbing vapors and gases for use in gas mask canisters. In the progress of that work he developed the first process for producing silica gel. While silica gel is now well known throughout the World, yet knowledge of it in the early ’twenties was confined largely to scientists. Following its production by Dr. Patrick in the laboratory, its high moisture adsorbent qualities and its other characteristics were known only in a general way, and even after The Silica Gel Corporation had been formed, in 1921, for the production and sale of silica gel, the potentialities of the product had never been developed commercially.

In the course of the receivership of the Davison Company the inherent values of silica gel justified the purchase by the Davison Receivers, at auction, of The Silica Gel Corporation, then bankrupt, and which, upon Reorganization of The Davison Chemical Company, ceased to have a separate corporate entity. With the background of Dr. Patrick’s work on silica gel, the reorganized Davison Chemical Corporation instituted an extensive research program which carried on where Dr. Patrick and the former Davison staf had left off. This has resulted in development of a completely new field of chemicals, gels of silica and various other materials. [As of 1951, from the original Patrick development, Davison Chemical is] are producing several hundred different types of products which fall in the category of gels and which have many and varied applications in industry.

[An intensive campaign where] every resource in the way of product research, and of merchandising and sales techniques, was put into convincing the buyers of desiccants that silica gel was the product they needed. The success was so outstanding that use of silica gel exceeds all others in this important field, and, as so often happens, acceptance in one use opened the door to acceptance in others and this, with the development of new products, created a new field of commercial enterprise.

The results of the program are indicated by the fact that, in I937, shipments of silica gel were still insignificant , a mere 78,000 pounds. But, by 1945, some 50,000,000 pounds were being produced largely for desiccant use. Much, but by no means all of this, was for wartime protection of ordnance.

Many continuing peacetime uses had been developed and a whole new field opened up through research into catalytic uses of silica gel and other gels. Commercially significant development of gels in the catalyst field started in the Petroleum Industry when the demand for high octane gasoline increased rapidly in the early days of the Second World War as a result of the expansion of aircraft operation. It was necessary for the Petroleum Industry to improve their methods of producing this material, and this resulted in the application of catalyst to the cracking of petroleum products. We cooperated in the development of a gel catalyst for the fluid catalytic cracking process and, as a result of this development, in 1942, we built at Curtis Bay the first plant for the production of gel cracking catalysts. This plant has since been increased to triple its original capacity. Increasing demand for this type of catalyst resulted in our acquiring a plant in Cincinnati Which today is producing about the same quantity as the Baltimore facilities. 50 that now, silica gel from its small beginning of 78,000 pounds in I938 is being produced at an annual rate of almost one hundred million pounds per year.

Thus the sturdy youngster of the Davison Chemical family, offspring of its oldest member, sulfuric acid, has, through Davison research, come into its own as a new industry within the chemical group.

The appetite of industry and the Armed Services for benzene and other petroleum aromatics such as toluene and xylene is insatiable. Literally dozens of industries and thousands of products are dependent upon them, and must compete for them with the aviation and automotive industries. In response, new processes are coming into use which take over after the cracking process, and subject molecules to a “reforming” so as to produce a still higher yield of aromatics. Again, silica gel has proved to be the right catalytic base. Solution of the problems involved in production of catalysts which will serve most efficiently in the various petroleum processes offers challenges to our Research Staff.

The dramatic advantages which have accrued through use of catalysts in petroleum refining have influenced other developments. Catalysts have given the entire chemical industry one of its most potent keys to economic operation. The field is intensely interesting and a constant challenge to Research technicians and to venture capital. For Davison, our knowledge and experience gained with petroleum catalysts suggested a branching out into development and production of other types of catalysts. Accordingly, a specialty catalyst plant was built at Curtis Bay where catalysts are custom-made for a wide variety of applications, in many different physical forms, employing a broad range of catalytic substances and bases of several kinds as well as silica gel.

Petroleum refining is on a worldwide basis and silica gel catalysts produced by Davison or under Davison license are in wide use Abroad, a return of silica gel to Europe in a way that those who earlier carried it there could not have foreseen.

Much of this and other work of the Davison laboratories, among the many which are doing chemical and medical research, is on a long‐term scientific program. Not all of its findings add up to dollars and cents on the black side of the ledger. However, the accumulated efiort always contributes to progress in chemical and medical science, and benefits people and industries everywhere.

As of 1951 ...

The functional hub of The Davison Chemical Corporation is still sulfuric acid, the product with which William T. Davison started in 1832. Our superphosphate activities at several points, our mixed fertilizer plants, our phosphate rock mining, the processing of rock and development of products such as the silicofluorides, silica gel and the catalysts, would not exist without the chemical vitality of sulfuric acid, which activates and changes so many useful items in our industrial and social existence.


Canton Section of Baltimore, Maryland (areal view today - April 2019)

Research Notes : It was a 1868 Maryland Reports document on legal cases that identify the "Symington" of a lawsuit against "Davison and Symington" as "WM. STUART SYMINGTON.". This is what we used to conclude that this Symington was William Stuart Symington I (born 1839) , as well as his younger brother Thomas Alexander Symington (born 1842) .


See [https://www.cantoncommunity.org/canton-timeline] - "1870–1885 : Lazaretto Fertilizer, Patapsco Guano, Maryland Fertilizer, Susquehanna Fertilizer, Davison Chemical, and Baugh & Sons & Chemical Co. of Canton open fertilizer plants on lower Clinton St."

1919 - Legal disupute between Davison Chemical and Baugh Chemical (includes concerns related to du Pont )

See - 1919-atlantic-reporter-vol-106.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EQAg9OQtqfg_Li_CoqefRCLUDg8Ieyxa

1954 - Acquisition by W. R. Grace and Company

WIKIPEDIA - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._R._Grace_and_Company

Saved link - 2019-04-20-wikipedia-org-w-r-grace-and-company.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-H9oKSUWX2ghYnXrrrSbQzOkGYPMCMAW

"J Peter Grace, Jr. (See WIKIPEDIA : J. Peter Grace, Jr. ) took over management of W. R. Grace and Company after his father suffered a stroke in 1945. After [World War II] the Grace line operated 23 ships totaling 188,000 gross tons, and an additional 14 more on bareboat charters. In 1954 , [W. R. Grace and Company] company bought Davison Chemical Company [...], and the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company (founded in 1919 by Bradley Dewey and Charles Almy)."

Excellent 1951 scanned book on Davison Chemical's history up until 1951: 1951-10-davison-book-its-background-and-contributions-since-1832-chester-hockley-ocr.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tYLksPXWxqfoAADLEsGhHqtetVoxalH-

This Newcomen Address, dealing with the pioneer work of William T. Dawson and with the history of The Daw'son Chemical Corporation, was delivered at the “195: Baltimore Dinner” of The Newcomen Society of England, held at EIkridge Country Club, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., when M r. Hockley was the guest of honor, on October 2 4 , 195:





My fellow members of Newcomen:

CHESTER F. HOCKLEY was born in south central Pennsylvania, with a heritage from strict, sturdy people. He had a normal school and college education which ended at an early age. Immediately he started his career as a young Engineer in the Machine and Steel Industries, at the then customary very modest compensation which, under today’s conditions, seems almost insignificant. From then on, his career is What we like to term the typical American career of an ambitious young man.

He was endowed with great ability and with unusual imagination. He was restless for advancement, and obtained, in rapid succession, employment with Snow Steam Pump Works, Lackawanna Steel Company, Westinghouse Machine Company, and Bethlehem Steel Company.

He first came to Baltimore, in I919, with American Hammered Piston Ring Company which had been acquired by Bartlett Hayward Company. A year later, he became President of the Piston Ring Company. From this he moved to the Vice‐Presidency, and finally, in 193 I, to the Presidency of Bartlett Hayward Company.

His constant desire to grapple with new and difficult problems allied him, in one way or another, with the development of gas engines for the Steel Industry, the construction of new mills at the Bethlehem Steel Company for making the revolutionary H‐beam, in designing and producing improved piston rings, the introduction into the United States of America of the waterless gas holder, which first had been developed on a small scale in Germany, in the development on a large scale of granular superphosphates and fertilizers, and later, in the development of catalysts for use in oil refining and in other processes.

In 1933, Mr. Hockley was appointed Receiver for the old Davison Chemical Company and its affiliates. By many this was thought to be a liquidating proposition, but he struggled with it for two years until finally a new company emerged, with him as President and as its guiding spirit. To him is due not only the credit of converting the liquidation into a living entity, but for nursing that entity from a Weakling into finally becoming a strong, prosperous company which, in many ways, is an embodiment of himself.


The Davison Chemical Company : (see )

2019-marinelink-history-davison-chemical-company.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EmzCeuYbb6bWVDdHTlaKLXipcBGcRfoE

THE importance of American control of the manufacture of chemicals for its own needs has been most emphatically demonstrated by the record of events in recent years.

The old-established chemical firm, the Davison Chemical Company, which has its principal office in the Garrett Building, at Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the most notable. It was founded in 1832 by William Davison and has been controlled by the Davison family ever since.

Following the death of Mr. Calvin Davison, his son-in-law, C. Wilbur Miller, who was then engaged in the practice of law, became actively identified with the company, and has since 1910 been its president. During the fifteen years he has been connected with the company its investment has increased from $600,000 to more than $16,000,000, and it is now one of the largest chemical manufacturing plants in the world, producing sulphuric acid, acid phosphate, sodium and magnesium silico fluoride, iron cinder and copper.

Through its subsidiary organization, the Davison Sulphur and Phosphate Company, it owns important raw materials property, including a phos-phate rock mine in Florida and a pyrites mine in Santa Clara Province, Cuba. The Cuban ore contains a high percentage of copper, which will be extracted at the copper plant of the company.

The products of the company have been greatly augmented during the war period, and the plant worked up to its capacity to meet the urgent needs of manufacturers who use its products in their processes. The future of the fertilizer industry in the United States, which consumes large tonnage of acid phosphate, is unlimited, and the largest producing center for fertilizer in the world is Baltimore.

The broad policy of expansion, which was adopted by the Davison Chemical Company and which resulted in a vast amount of construction and new development work in the last ten years, is now beginning to show collective results. In the new conditions that are developing as a result of the world war, with an unquestioned expansion in all of the departments of production industries, the manufacture of chemicals and fertilizer material is necessarily one of the branches of production in which the United States is expected not only to supply its own needs but also to take care of the greatly expanded export trade. No concern is better prepared for this program of expansion than the Davison Chemical Company.

In the management of the business Mr. Miller is assisted by an able and efficient official staff, the membership of which includes George W. Davison, vice-president; W. D. Huntington, vice-president in charge of sales; E. B. Miller, vice-president in charge of operations; J. R. Wilson, secretary and assistant treasurer; T. J. Dee, treasurer. The Executive Committee of the company is composed of J. J. Nelligan, A. H. S. Post, Waldo Newcomer, C. Wilbur Miller.


(2019-04-nukeworker-com-nuclear-facilities-na-usa-region1-northeast-nuclear-pictures.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tpYd14Hf6HsQFybDPkMQYK_FoID5MH8C )

2019-04-nukeworker-com-nuclear-facilities-na-usa-region1-northeast-nuclear-pictures-clip1.jpg / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tjmvjXUxYJRHAMesGHAJcLVqSrAY6oPc

W. R. Grace and Company (FUSRAP Site) in Curtis Bay, Maryland

The W.R. Grace and Company is located on an industrialized peninsula in south Baltimore, Maryland. In the 1950�s the W.R. Grace and Company milled thorium for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), a predecessor agency for the US Department of Energy. W.R. Grace began processing radioactive materials at the site in the 1950s, when Rare Earths, Inc. (W.R. Grace�s predecessor) entered into a contract with AEC to extract thorium and rare earths from naturally-occurring monazite sands. Rare Earths� contract with AEC and its license to possess, transfer and use radioactive thorium were transferred to W.R. Grace and Company. Building 23, where the thorium processing took place, was open until the late 1950s when the contract was terminated. The wastes were buried in a landfill area. Thorium processing resulted in low-level waste that was buried on the property. Radiation surveys have shown that radioactive contamination still persists in the waste burial area, the waste management area which surrounds the waste burial plot, surfaces surrounding vats and hoppers in Building 23 and alpha-radiation surface contamination in the whole of Building 23. The site was designated by DOE for remedial action under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) in 1984. This site was one of the 21 Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) sites where cleanup responsibility was transferred to the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1997 in accordance with the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY 1998. Cleanup responsibilities transferred at that time from DOE-EM to the USACE.

2019-04-nukeworker-com-nuclear-facilities-na-usa-region1-northeast-nuclear-pictures-clip2.jpg / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1togqEtyH79xhPUZ4BLps4L9D7UpYWPx5

1961 While industrial interests explore the viability of commercial reprocessing, the state of New York moves to acquire land in the town of Ashford, near West Valley, for an atomic industrial area. The state Office of Atomic Development establishes the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (WNYNSC) on the 3,345 acres of land it has taken title to.

1962 Davison Chemical Company establishes Nuclear Fuels Services, Inc. (NFS) as a reprocessing company. It reaches an agreement with the state to lease the WNYNSC.

1966 Nuclear Fuels Services develops and operates 200 acres of the WNYNSC. It operates the site as a nuclear fuel reprocessing center from 1966 to 1972, and accepts radioactive waste for disposal until 1975. During the operation of the plant, 640 metric tons of spent reactor fuel are processed, resulting in 660,000 gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste. The liquid waste is stored in an underground waste tank. NFS also utilizes a 15-acre area for the disposal of radioactive waste from commercial waste generators, and another seven-acre landfill is used to dispose of radioactive waste generated from reprocessing.

1976 Following four years of pursuing modifications to the plant, NFS decides the costs and regulatory requirements of reprocessing make the venture impractical. The company decides to exercise its right to leave the site after its lease expires on December 31, 1980, transferring ownership and responsibility for the waste and facility to the state of New York. The state initiates talks with the Federal Energy Research and Development Administration to sort out ownership of the waste and environmental remediation responsibility.

1980 Congress passes the West Valley Demonstration Project Act, Public Law 96-368, directing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to take the lead role in solidifying the liquid high-level waste and decontaminating and decommissioning the facilities at West Valley.

2007-04-07-tn-times-news-nuclear-fuel-services-celebrates-50th-birthday.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tsW8c4gjhyJcgf38aWC5aJ30hh7pUNjc

ERWIN - Much of the activity in its production plant is shrouded in secrecy, but Unicoi County's largest employer doesn't want one piece of news to be classified: It has turned 50 this year.

Nuclear Fuel Services, which manufactures fuel for the Navy and converts highly enriched uranium into fuel used at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, has hit the half-century mark.

The industry plans to celebrate the anniversary in July, but it briefly commemorated the event at the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce dinner last month.

NFS was born in 1957 in Baltimore when T.C. Runion, Charlie Taylor, Stan Reese and Ed Johnson hooked up with companies W.R. Grace and Davison Chemical, fueled in part by a desire by Congress to have commercial nuclear power plants.

W.R. Grace bought Davison in 1954, NFS spokesman Tony Treadway said.

"We've made a real contribution to society and the business world," said Taylor, who remained active in company affairs until he resigned from the board of directors in February.

According to a company brochure, the four men were working for National Lead Co. in Fernald, Ohio, when their lives intersected.

"We knew that W.R. Grace was wanting to grow into the nuclear business and that Davison Chemical made a lot of specialty chemicals, so we went to them for financial backing," Johnson said.

The choice of building NFS in Erwin was a matter of logic and personal feelings. Runion said the town was close to Oak Ridge and Savannah River, a Department of Energy site close to Aiken, S.C., and a railroad siding could be obtained for the Erwin property. Plus, Erwin was his hometown.

Taylor said the early years consisted of processing highly enriched uranium, low-enriched uranium and thorium metal. During down times, NFS made specialty chemicals. Later, NFS manufactured material for Consolidated Edison's first commercial nuclear reactor.

The company's most well-known role with the military evolved from the Navy's wishes to have a fleet of nuclear powered ships. NFS has been the sole provider of Navy fuel since 1966, and the first batch arrived at an aircraft carrier in 1969.

"We wanted to penetrate the Navy business, so NFS and W.R. Grace went to work on a better type of fuel completely on our own and without government support," Johnson said. "It was a really gutsy thing to do."

Runion recalled that he worked at the Erwin plant for 10 years, all of which he believed were profitable. He said that is unusual in the nuclear industry.

"Most of all the companies took a beating the first two or three years," said Runion, who noted that everyone involved in establishing NFS believed that nuclear business "was going to be the way to go."

He said NFS was one of the first plants to produce uranium oxide as part of the fuel that nuclear power electric generating plants needed. The material used in Erwin was manufactured at a government plant in Oak Ridge, Runion said.

At the moment, NFS has about 540 employees, with more than 340 on salary and the rest being hourly, union employees.

Other union members are gradually returning to work after last year's strike ended. Employment was at its highest about 1,200 in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Despite a connection to the U.S. government that keeps many aspects of its operation top secret, NFS has found itself regularly in the news over the years.

Sometimes, it's been the result of labor unrest. Occasionally, the union has gone on strike, the last one coming in 2006 and lasting five months. In 1985 and 1986, a strike lasted nearly a year. Taylor said NFS has probably had more problems with its union than other companies have encountered.

Roger Birchfield, who worked for NFS for 40 years before retiring in 2006 and was union president during the recent strike, said he believes unions are good for a company and employees because it provides a structure by which both can work. He said it is important, especially in a nuclear plant, to have an organization to follow up on safety issues.

Periodically, NFS has found itself in trouble with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The federal agency fined NFS $10,000 in 1985 for what was called a "dangerous buildup of uranium" in the plant's air vents.

The NRC shut down the plant in 1979 when NFS could not account for 19.8 pounds of uranium. After the company was able to document most of the uranium, the NRC allowed the plant to reopen.

In 1996, an NFS incinerator caught fire, but it caused no injuries or radiation contamination, company officials said.

One of the toughest periods for the company began in 1992 when the Navy canceled its contract with NFS because its fuel needs dropped as the Cold War ended. Taylor recalled that as one of the dark periods for the company as employment plummeted by more than half from 800. NFS regained the contract in 1996.

When NFS lost its contract with the Navy, the company did not think it was on its last legs because it knew that branch of the military would need fuel again, Treadway said. But he said the company realized it "needed to be more aggressive in new business development."

1978-11-us-doe-western-ny-nuclear-service-center-report-vol1 / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u2oFRSwcQvei0LPCue9gYzw3A_z0O61Q


A stated purpose of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 was to promote "wide spread participation in the development and utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes." The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) actively encouraged private industry to enter the field of nuclear power. By the end of 1955, the AEC concluded agreements for the first few demonstration power reactors.

In 1954, the AEC began a program to encourage private participation in the reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel as part of its program to commercialize the entire nuclear fuel cycle. To have commercial reprocessing services available for the first irradiated fuel in 1961, the AEC offered to make available the reprocessing technology developed for the defense program.

In 1959, New York State's interest in attracting atomic development culminated in the formation of the Office of Atomic Development (OAD) as an independent agency responsible for coordination of atomic regulatory and development functions within the State. To encourage nuclear development, the OAD acquired the West Valley site in 1961, which became designated the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (WNYNSC). The purpose of the Center was to store nuclear fuels and radioactive wastes and to be available for related industrial development.

The Davison Chemical Co. was sufficiently encouraged by the developments in the late 1950's to consider the feasibility of constructing a reprocessing facility. In 1961, Davison expressed interest in operating the WNYNSC. January 1962, Davison outlined its plans to the AEC for constructing a In private reprocessing plant. To pursue the reprocessing venture, Davison set up Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS), whose stock was owned by the W. R. Grace Co. (78%) and American Machine and Foundry (22%). NFS, in its proposal, indicated its willingness to provide and maintain storage for a limited period of time for the high-level liquid wastes (HLLW)t resulting from the reprocessing operations. Subsequently, the wastes would become the responsibility of the AEC. NFS also said it was willing to collect and return to the AEC an amount calculated to provide the estimated full costs for perpetual storage at the point of turnover. NFS was simultaneously negotiating to make New York State responsible for perpetual care of the was tes. The proposed, and eventually approved, method of waste disposition was to store them in liquid form in underground storage tanks, similar to the method being used at AEC production facilities.

1979-us-doe-western-ny-nuclear-service-center-companiion-report-vol2.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u94lpBjuojDHVlTaqgNtJwm_avkOvsyy

1. 1


A stated purpose of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 was to promote "wide-spread participation in the development and utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes." The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) actively encouraged private industry to enter the field of nuclear power. By the end of 1955, the AEC concluded agreements for the first few demonstration nuclear power reactors.

In 1954, the AEC began a program to encourage private reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel as part of its program to commercialize the entire nuclear fuel cycle. By January 1956 this program resulted in an announcement by the AEC that:

• The AEC would make available to industry AEC technology on reprocessing and the description of fuels available for reprocessing

• The AEC invited proposals by industry to design, reprocessing plants construct, and operate

• The AEC would provide assistance in the form of a baseload and allow the use of AEC facilities for development work and training.

During discussions of this program with industry, three predominant issues were raised. The first was the lack of adequate demand to make a commercial reprocessing plant economically viable. The AEC offered to provide a baseload of fuel from its production reactors to support the plant until adequate demand developed.

The second predominant issue was the lack of a basis for establishing reason able charges for services. In 1957, the AEC announced a policy to assure that reprocessing services would be available for the first commercial irradiated fuel in 1961. Under this policy, the AEC would provide fuel reprocessing services in AEC facilities until services were available commercially at reasonable prices or until June 30, 1976. To establish charges for those services, the AEC designed a hypothetical reprocessing plant. The reasonableness of commercial charges was to be based on comparison with these hypothetical plant charges.

The third predominant issue was responsibility for the high-level radioactive wastes resulting from commercial reprocessing. The AEC policy was to encourage the maximum participation of industry in the management of these wastes. It was recognized that industrial longevity was insufficient to assume ultimate responsibility for these wastes. For West Valley, this factor was overcome by having ownership of the land reside with the State.

Perceiving an opportunity to promote industrial development within the State, New York, in 1956, had created a State Council on the Development of Atomic Energy, followed by the formation of the Office of Atomic Development (OAD) in 1959. In 1961, OAD acquired a 1350-hectare (ha) (3345-acre) site near the hamlet of West Valley in the Town of Ashford, Cattaraugus County, about 48 km (30 miles) south of Buffalo. The site was judged to be favorable for a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant and attendant waste facilities. It was favorably located with respect to projected nuclear reactor development in the north eastern and mid-Atlantic United States. In addition, the silty till in the West Valley area was relatively impermeable to water and would, therefore, provide protection against migration of waterborne radioactivity through the ground. Further advantages of the site were a low population density in the area and meteorological conditions favorable for atmospheric dilution of any radioactivity released. The site was named the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (WNYNSC); it is also referred to as West Valley or the Center.

The developments of the late 1950s were sufficiently encouraging for utility and industrial concerns to form the Industrial Reprocessing Group (IRG). The IRG, composed of Davison Chemical, Consolidated Edison, Commonwealth Electric, and Northern States Power, in 1ate 1959 initiated a technical and economic feasibility study of reprocessing. As a result of IRG's interest, the AEC delayed indefinitely the modification of facilities planned for processing commercial fuel, but would continue to receive fuels for which reprocessing capability did not exist or charges were not reasonable.

In 1961, the Davison Chemical Company expressed interest in the West Valley site. In January 1962, Davison outlined its plans to the AEC for constructing a private reprocessing plant. To pursue the reprocessing venture, Davison (which was acquired by W. R. Grace and Company) set up Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS). W. R. Grace owned 78% of the NFS stock and American Machine and Foundry owned the rest.

NFS indicated its willingness to provide and maintain storage for a limited period of time for the high-level 11quid wastes resulting from the reprocessing operations. Subsequently, the wastes would become the responsibility of the AEC. NFS also said it was willing to collect and return to the AEC an amount of money calculated to provide the estimated full costs for perpetual storage at the point of turnover. NFS was simultaneously negotiating to make New York State responsible for perpetual care of the wastes. The proposed, and eventu ally approved, method of waste disposition was to store the wastes in liquid form in underground storage tanks, similar to the method being used at AEC production facilities

1948 Advertisement -

See 1948-08-09-the-baltimore-sun-pg11-davison-chemical-ad.jpg / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ejh5pQnpSbn4-Ap8FCZzLsTBoAvDK-zl

Legal - Oct 1968 :

Washington Fire Insurance Company vs. Davison and Symington.

See 1870-cases-argued-and-determined-in-the-court-of-appeals-of-maryland-vol-xxx-oct-1968-to-aprill-1969.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=15S0jr1v1pq2De4ocfIhdLJnBAuUVeMtO


1951-10-davison-book-its-background-and-contributions-since-1832-chester-hockley-ocr.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tYLksPXWxqfoAADLEsGhHqtetVoxalH-


1951-10-davison-book-its-background-and-contributions-since-1832-chester-hockley-clip1.jpg / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uGZUzSHxD_8Vrv1XPmhE8h0S99QYDp1A

References - good stuff (maybe) for later ...