Student name: Nicholas Skific
Project Site: Westinghouse Lamp Plant, Bloomfield, New Jersey
Source 1: A Manhattan Project Postscript (Science Magazine, 1981) by John Walsh
Taken from the first hand account of the author during his tenure at the plant between 1943 and 1944, Manhattan Project Postscript reveals what went on behind the scenes at the Westinghouse Factory during the Second World War and how their production of enriched uranium ingots played a hand in the final development of the Atomic Bomb. Walsh not only discusses the work that he saw on the manufacturing of ingots, but also in the early days of small scale manufacture just how hazardous these production methods were and how the workers that were hired to create these ingots also were flushing radioactive waste down into the city’s sewer systems, potentially being the catalyst for future battles yet to come.
Source 2: New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection v. Phillips Electronics North America Corp. (Essex County Court, 2006)
Shortly after the closure of the Westinghouse Electrical Plant (by this time now a subsidiary of Philips North America) cleanup actions were underway to demolish and remove all hazardous materials from the sight after production of not only the Manhattan Project uranium but also thorium light filaments. The cleanup did not get rid of all materials and the city filed a civil suit against Philips over the alleged shortcuts they took while disposing of contaminated soil and other materials. Citing possible water table contamination from underground storage tanks that at the time of this suit, were still buried under the site. This court case followed in the footsteps of many other landmark battle for environmental justice within the state of New Jersey and continued the pursuit of having massive corporate entities be held accountable for their mismanagement of delicate cleanup operations.