Primary Source Report-NS

Source 1: 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.

Source 2: 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 3: July 1996 Contamination Survey Report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Over the summer of 1996 when the demolition and cleanup of what used to be the Westinghouse facility was already underway, the Scientific Ecology Group; with oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, performed a soil sample test of a subterranean pipe and drywell running from Building 7 to Building 8. Building 7 is where the production line for the uranium existed and would logically be the source of the highest contamination levels and that was proven to be true, with levels exceeding the guidelines for that soil to be used in unrestricted uses. Due to the elevated levels of uranium and thorium approximately 2,700 cubic feet of soil, pipework and foundation from Building 7 had to be partially decontaminated and hauled away to a radioactive dumping site.

Source 4: The Tuballoy Project (The New Town Crier) May 2004

Taking a much more general view of the Westinghouse site, It describes how Westinghouse first dabbled in using uranium for commercial purposes before the war, their upmost priority of secrecy during their contract for the Manhattan Project and the unfortunate pollution caused by the manufacturing process. Their work was so secretive that whenever something went wrong it was up to the discretion of personnel (who had no knowledge of what they were making or of nuclear science) to put out fires and dump refuse into the sewage system, which would also sometimes catch on fire. Due to this lack of oversight contamination was present at Building 7 and after the war, most of the machines and pipework that made the uranium was stripped away and taken to an undisclosed location, which begs the question of is this location disposing of waste properly, however that should be answered with another essay.