Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS)
Draft... just links to info ...
(2019-04-nukeworker-com-nuclear-facilities-na-usa-region1-northeast-nuclear-pictures.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tpYd14Hf6HsQFybDPkMQYK_FoID5MH8C )
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.
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.
See 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."
DOE Western NY Nuclear Service Center
See 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.
HISTORY OF WEST WALLEY
See 1979-us-doe-western-ny-nuclear-service-center-companiion-report-vol2.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u94lpBjuojDHVlTaqgNtJwm_avkOvsyy
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
References - good stuff (maybe) for later ...