Mallinckrodt Chemical Works began processing the original Belgian Congo Uranium (U235) in 1942 for the first atomic bomb at its downtown St. Louis location (SLDS). By the mid 1940s, Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had run out of space and began to ship the radioactive waste offsite, to an underpopulated area, north of St. Louis. The offsite storage was located at the St. Louis Hazelwood Interim Storage Site (HISS) on Latty Avenue and also at the St. Louis Airport Site (SLAPS). Radioactive materials were stored in bulk, on the ground, open to the elements, and unattended next to Coldwater Creek until the 1970s. Coldwater Creek runs throughout North St. Louis County and is a tributary for the Missouri River.
In 1973, thousands of tons of nuclear weapons waste was taken from the Hazelwood Interim Storage Site and illegally dumped at Westlake Landfill in nearby Bridgeton, Missouri. The nuclear weapons waste has sat unlined, in a floodplain, 8 miles upstream from the drinking water intake for all of North St. Louis County for over forty years. Westlake Landfill has never been fully characterized and is currently in the path of a an uncontrollable subterranean landfill fire which threatens to disperse airborne toxic particles over the St. Louis region.
In 1957, Mallinckrodt moved its downtown (SLDS) uranium operations to Weldon Spring in the St. Charles, Missouri area and to the Hematite plant in Jefferson County Missouri. The SLDS Mallinckrodt plant was closed.
With the exception of the aforementioned Hematite plant, there are five nuclear weapons waste sites within 32.1 miles of each other in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri; SLDS, SLAPS, HISS, Westlake, and Weldon Spring. Regardless of whether the sites are recognized as being "cleaned up", in the process of being remediated, or not under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers FUSRAP program, these five sites have leaked, leached, and blown into their surrounding environments and as a result have caused, are still causing, and will continue to cause (until appropriate remediation is completed) devastating health impacts on St. Louis' local communities.
This page is a collection of research into the five related St. Louis, Missouri, area Manhattan Project sites compiled over the past four years from administrative records, Kay Drey's records and interviews with former truck drivers, maps showing illnesses reported from the self-reported health survey created by the Coldwater Creek-Just the Facts Please Facebook group and news articles from decades past. The following information details spills during material transport, contamination found offsite (migration and blatant dumping), as well as draining contaminated water from storage pits directly to the river, upstream from the region's drinking water intakes and more. It is no wonder the Army Corps of Engineers FUSRAP personnel are now finding radioactive contamination linked to the Mallinckrodt nuclear weapons production in the backyards of Coldwater Creek residential areas as reported on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/army-corps-yards-along-coldwater-creek-are-contaminated-radioactive-waste
Please take a moment to view the "Big Picture" at the conclusion of this page showing the maps of self-reported cancers and autoimmune illnesses believed to be possibly associated with ionizing radiation exposure compiled by the Coldwater Creek-Just the Facts Please Facebook group released in August 2015.
Due to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Manhattan Engineering District (MED) activities that took place in St. Louis and the nuclear weapons waste legacy it left behind, it is only fair and just to grant St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding communities inclusion into the Department of Justice's Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Program. Click HERE to learn more about RECA
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website Click HERE for the Specific Diseases or Conditions covered under RECA
Special thanks to Kay Drey. Without her fierce perseverance and dedication much of this information would be long lost.
Web page developed and document research compiled by Angela Helbling / Coldwater Creek Facts
Copyrights of all news articles, reports and other documents included on this page are all retained by their original creators.
**Due to the age and quality of the St. Louis Post Dispatch article from 1953 to the right; the text has been transcribed here.
Radioactive Dirt On Highway Came From Chemical Works
Radioactive dirt spilled Friday from an overturned dump truck on U.S. Highway 66 two miles north of St. Louis Lambert Field come from a project of the Atomic Energy Commission at the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works at 65 Destrehan Street, J.P. Morgan, the Commission's St. Louis area manager, said today.
The dirt was not dangerous, it was pointed out, and it was washed from the road by the Robertson Volunteer Fire Department only because it was a hazard to motorists.
The truck driver, Leo Friend 1718 Grove Avenue, told officers of the State Highway Patrol he was driving west on Highway 66 when a car in front of him suddenly slowed, causing him to swerve the truck. The truck went into a ditch and overturned. Friend suffered a neck injury and is in fair condition at faith Hospital.
The following letter is dated September 1, 2002 and references an article from 1998 concerning contaminated materials used as fill during construction efforts at the St. Louis Lambert airport parking garage. However, the news article that follows is dated 1988 regarding the same matter. It is currently unclear whether the airport parking garage was designated a FUSRAP vicinity property.
In 1997 radioactive contamination exceeding federal guidelines was found at St. Denis Bridge in Florissant, Missouri.
In 1998 MARSSIM-Based Final Status Survey Plan For the St. Denis Bridge Area was released. The survey determined levels and extent of residual radiological material in site soils and compared the radiological conditions with the cleanup goals established for the St. Louis FUSRAP site. The MRSSIM process was developed collaboratively by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Defense (DoD) for use in designing, implementing, and evaluating radiological surveys.
Excerpt from report:
"The St. Denis Bridge area was likely contaminated when residue materials originating from uranium processes at the Mallinckrodt facility in St. Louis was transported to interim storage facilities in North County. The contaminated material subsequently contaminated Coldwater Creek and was deposited at at the St. Denis Bridge."
In 1999 the Sacred Heart Parish Boy Scout Troop #613 and other volunteers clean up Coldwater Creek at St. Denis Bridge as part of the Missouri Stream Team Program that is sponsored by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
2014 - Coldwater Creek between Frost Ave. to St. Denis Bridge is found to be contaminated.
The following articles detail 240 radioactive contaminated drums found offsite of the St. Louis Airport Site at the Mid Coast Aviation property in 1988. To this day, no one knows how the drums got there, or who put them there. It had been determined that the material in the drums was not processed by Mallinckrodt; indicating the Mid Coast barrels were a separate waste stream. Although it was stated that there was "no immediate health threat;" the Airport Commission paid Mid Coast Aviation, Inc. $9.3 Million to relocate its aviation complex to the north side of Lambert Field.
FACT: The Mid Coast barrels are the same number of barrels as the "Captured Japanese Sands" that were brought to SLAPS in 1954 from Vitro Corporation in Middlesex, New Jersey during the closeout of that site. Please note: there are discrepancies in historical documents, with some stating "240" barrels and others stating "2400" barrels. (see below)
Construction workers doing excavation at Lambert Field have uncovered 240 rusted metal drums containing radioactive material that were secretly buried federal and state officials said Wednesday.
The 55-gallon drums contained a liquid substance contaminated by two radioactive substances that scientists say can cause cancer.
Officials say they didn't know when the drums had been buried or who was responsible.
The drums were found with parts of two trucks near the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant off McDonnell Boulevard. The site is in the area of the the airport where Mid Coast Aviation, Inc. is preparing to build a fourth hangar.
The site where the drums were found is less than a mile from the 21.7 acre site just north of the airport.
Most of the 240 rusted drums uncovered at a construction site at Lambert Field had ruptured and leaked about 2,000 gallons of a radioactively contaminated liquid into a earthen pit there, an environmental health officer from the city of St. Louis reports.
Martin said he had been told that the drums appeared to be buried for many years. He said he had been told also that many had holes in them and that others had deteriorated to the point where they were incapable of holding liquids.
The material was later put into 81 new metal containers and transported to an isolated section of the airport.
An EPA review of past aerial photos of the site has disclosed that the 240 drums may have been buried in an old stream bed or drainage ditch that has since been filled in, Chen said.
The construction worker, who asked not to be identified, said he had seen drums marked as radioactive at a nearby airport location in the summer of 1982 or 1983. He said the drums were in the general area of a batch plant used to mix concrete for runways and other construction projects at the airport.
Tests of 240 rusted metal drums unearthed last month at Lambert Field show very low levels of radioactive contaminates, a spokesman for U.S. Department of Energy said.
Andrew Avel, an Energy Department official, said the readings were low enough to permit the disposal of the material as hazardous waste, rather than radioactive waste.
He said that radioactivity found in liquid samples taken May 19 was so low that both Energy Department and Nuclear regulatory Commission standards would have allowed the disposal of water with similar contamination by flushing directly into sanitary sewers.
Avel said Friday that the tests indicated that the radioactive drums had no connection with material processed by Mallinckrodt for the old federal Atomic Energy Commission.
The Relocation cost would be reimbursed over 20 years by the airlines that use Lambert Field, Airport Officials said.
Various documents; including letters, sampling results and other articles can be viewed/downloaded following the link below:
The "Captured Japanese Sands" stored at the St. Louis Airport Site perplexed us for quite some time. Initially, when we began to research and find mention of "captured Japanese sand" we couldn't figure out what "sand" was. We had developed a theory that sand must have been brought back to the U.S. after the bombs dropped, maybe for the purpose of researching. But that seemed rather unlikely, as there were 60 tons of the material present at the airport site. With more research on various official documents, along with discovering that the U.S. had captured Hitler's last submarine while it was en route to Japan; we discovered the true origin of the mysterious "Captured Japanese Sand" was in fact, uranium oxide from Hitler's last U-Boat. Hitler bequeathed his war materials to Japan; however, the U.S. intercepted the submarine before it could reach the Japanese. The following references were compiled and discussed with the FUSRAP team in 2014 who addressed these findings in the St. Louis Sites Winter Newsletter.
Tales From The Atomic Age - by Paul W. Frame
"Much of U-234's top secret cargo, 240 tons of documents and war materials, was shipped to Washington and opened out of sight of the press cameras. A good deal was what might be expected, e.g., armor piercing antiaircraft shells. There were surprises, e.g., two Me-262 jet fighters. But, the biggest surprise of all came when 10 containers marked "Japanese Army" were opened. They contained 560 kg of uranium oxide!"
Read more: http://www.orau.org/ptp/articlesstories/u234.htm
Captured Cargo, Captivating Mystery - New York Times
The Army Corps of Engineers FUSRAP Pre-Design Investigation Summary Report for St. Cin Park, Archdiocese Of St. Louis Property (St. Ferdinand Cemetery), and Duchesne Park where contamination has been found north of Highway 270 in residential areas in 2015.
Army Corps: Yards along Coldwater Creek are contaminated with radioactive waste
By VERONIQUE LACAPRA
August 19, 2015
The following excerpts are from Kay Drey's interview with Tom Green, former Mallinckrodt truck driver (deceased)
The following excerpts are from Kay Drey's interview with a former Mallinckrodt truck driver (identity confidential).
1989 - "At the request of the Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) performed a radiological survey of a portion of Coldwater Creek located in St. Louis, Missouri area. The survey, funded by the COE, was performed as part of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), a DOE program to identify and and clean up or otherwise control site where residual radioactive contamination (exceeding current guidelines) remains from the early years of the nation's atomic energy program or from commercial operations causing conditions that Congress has mandated DOE to remedy."
Download Radiological Survey Report for 4.8 Miles of Coldwater Creek Betweeen Bruce Drive and Old Halls Ferry Road - December 8, 1989 **File no longer available for download. May be made available upon request.
Contamination has been found as far down Coldwater Creek as has been tested. Due to contamination being found during this study, the Corps of Engineers never implemented flood control project. To date, there is no information to indicate the 4.8 miles between Bruce Drive and Old Halls Ferry Road was ever cleaned up. We do know that flood control measures in this area were implemented over time. In the 26 years since this report was released there have been numerous residential and commercial developments in this area. Without the area being remediated, we can only conclude contamination has further spread as a result of these developments and other flood control measures that have since been put into place.
A federally funded study made public this week found radioactive contamination along the banks of Coldwater Creek several miles from nuclear waste dumps at Lambert Field and Latty Avenue. Some contamination is considered by the energy department to be at unacceptable levels.
The finding was contained in a report to the Army Corps of Engineers. "The discovery of this material is much farther downstream than anyone expected in concentrations that are unsafe," Buechner said in a statement issued Thursday night.
The new study found thorium-230 at concentrations greater than those considered acceptable by the energy department at many locations. It also found thorium-232, radium-226 and radium-228.
Officials in North County say they are worried and confused by a recent Department of Energy study that reported high concentrations of radioactive material in sections of a creek that meander through the most densely populated parts of the county.
The radioactive material, thorium-230 was discovered in the bed of Coldwater Creek, which flows into the Missouri River. Researchers studying soil samples found higher concentrations of thorium-230 than is acceptable by the Energy Department. The study also uncovered thorium-232, radium-226 and radium-228.
"The Corps of Engineers will postpone indefinitely a project to prevent Coldwater Creek from flooding areas of north St. Louis County because the creek banks and sediment to be dug up are contaminated with radioactivity, a corps official said Thursday."
"A 7.8 mile section of the creek channel downstream from the airport between McDonnell Boulevard and Old Halls Ferry Road will not be widened until the contamination at the airport is cleaned up, Said Jim Zerega..."
Concern Voiced At Coldwater Creek Contamination
"What is in Coldwater Creek? Enough Radioactive contamination to stymie a federal flood control project, but not enough to harm a minnow? Enough radioactive contamination to require a multi-million dollar clean up, but not enough to be detectable in drinking water a few miles downstream?"
"Water drains from the airport dump site by seeping into groundwater, or draining into Coldwater Creek, carrying contamination with it."
Download Radiological Survey Report for 4.8 Miles of Coldwater Creek Betweeen Bruce Drive and Old Halls Ferry Road - December 8, 1989 **File no longer available for download. May be made available upon request.
The following examples from the Westlake Landfill site show confirmed contamination off site in 1991, use of sanitary sewers for disposal of water from the site's radiological areas 1 & 2 in 1996, as well as, Westlake Landfill Health Assessment 1985 in which the site was found to be "leaking and unsound." For more information on the history and current issues on the Westlake Landfill, please visit Westlake Landfill on Facebook.
"Enclosed please find a copy of a Phase III Radiological Site Assessment Report for the Earth City Industrial Park located adjacent to the West Lake Landfill site near St. Louis, Missouri. This report describes two small areas of contamination on the Industrial Park which appears to have originated from the West Lake Landfill site. The owner of the property, United States Real Estate, is interested in having this property decontaminated as the sale of a large adjacent parcel is contingent upon removal of radioactive contamination from this site." - Dames & Moore
"On August 28, 1998 Herst & Associates, Inc. personnel noticed a large quantity of a grey sludge-like material being dumped from dump trucks near the Bridgeton Landfill leachate Outfall 005, South of the active landfill, across Old St. Charles Rock Road."
Herst & Associates personnel viewed the area again on September 1, 1998. The material had not been removed. In addition, new dumping activities were occurring immediately southeast of the Leachate Lagoon. The Dave Kolb personnel were excavating an area approx. 30 square yards by 1 yard deep , and then dumping the sludge into this area. Mr. Ferris reported that the Dave Kolb personnel stated that the material was being dredged from the flood control channel in the area of a new development to the south of the Leachate Lagoon, and were being placed in these locations to dry.
The following link contains special permit requests and responses between McLaren Hart Environmental Engineering Corporation, the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the of purge water from split ground water sampling at Westlake Landfill radiological areas 1 and 2 in Bridgeton, Missouri - into sanitary sewers.
Although results appear to meet all standard requirements for release; it does not appear that any radionuclides were tested for before water was recklessly dumped into the sanitary sewer system in 1996.
"No one disputes the fact that the West Lake Landfill has about 7,000 tons of radioactive nuclear waste. What is unclear is whether there is a threat to public health." - KSDK
Technical Basis Document: Basis for Development of an Exposure Matrix for the Mallinckrodt Chemical Company St. Louis Downtown Site, St. Louis, Missouri, Period of Operation: 1942 to 1958
Page 12 (via pdf tool bar):
Page 13 (via pdf tool bar):
Kay Drey Interview Excerpt (source confidential):
News Letter and Weldon Spring Balance Sheets **File no longer available for download. May be made available upon request.
From 1953 to 1976, the DOE and its predecessor agencies recycled uranium from spent fuel by processing it through gaseous diffusion plants located at Paducah, Oak Ridge and Portsmouth.
The spent fuel originated primarily at the Hanford Reservation in WA and the Savannah River Plant in SC, where the AEC operated large plutonium reactors. The uranium was introduced into the enrichment complex because ofthe scarcity of this material and because of cold war weapons production requirements. The purpose of this program was purely economic - a means of recovering this valuable material.
Download Summary of Plutonium Issues Related to WSSRAP & Correspondence **File no longer available for download. May be made available upon request.
As early as 1980, DOE was determined to release the waste water contained in the Weldon Spring Raffinate Pits to the Missouri River, above the drinking water intakes for St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. There are many documents that show the battle between DOE and local officials over the Weldon Spring Raffinate Pits. In the beginning, the local communities were successful in blocking DOE from draining this highly radioactive mixed waste above our drinking water intakes. DOE was eventually successful and all of radioactive mixed waste was released to the river upstream of the drinking water intakes for the entire St. Louis region. A few examples are linked below. There are also many documents that illustrate how badly these raffinate pits leaked and seeped into the St. Charles County area for years before the waste water was released into the river. Busch Wildlife and Dardenne Creek have been deeply impacted as a result of gross mismanagement of these materials. More documents and articles may be made available upon request.
Some 20 million gallons of radioactively contaminated water would be allowed to trickle into the Missouri River - above the intakes for St. Charles, St. Louis and St. Louis County - Under a permit sought be the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Uranium was used to make fuel ores for reactors in South Carolina and Washington, where plutonium was produced for nuclear bombs.
TOXIC and radioactive chemicals, including radium-226 are in the water, according to DOE's application. Radium 226 is a cancer-causing agent present in about 5 million gallons of the water in concentrations of about 40 times higher than the maximum allowed by federal drinking water standard...
In the application, the DOE says it is "doubtful" that dumping the radioactive water would have "any significant adverse environmental impacts," because it would be released gradually.
The department said it hopes to avoid treating the water before it is discharged because such treatment would "require further research and development, and if implemented, would be costly and time consuming. No appreciable benefit be accrued."
One of four water-filled waste pits used to store low-level radioactive wastes south of Weldon Spring apparently was leaking into part of the August A. Busch Wildlife Area for as long as six months before being detected.
Authorities aren't sure, yet, where the radiation is coming from but they suspect it is from the disposal pits at the old Army nuclear plant just off the Busch area about two miles to the north.
She was referring to the department's plan to treat contaminated water now held in Weldon Spring quarry in St. Charles County, then release it into the Missouri River only a few miles upstream from the area drinking water intakes. Despite assurance from the Energy Department that the water will be tested in batches, then treated again if it fails to meet acceptable standards, there appears to be reasonable doubts as to whether the plan has been fully perfected.
The Energy Department itself acknowledges the need to develop more sophisticated filtering technology and monitoring instruments to meet at least one crucial problem: effectively treating mixed waste - that is, uranium mixed with thorium and radium, which are also present in the Weldon Spring quarry.
Current plans appear adequate for treating uranium, but not necessarily when other chemicals are present.
We have identified additional areas in North County (not listed on this page) that may have been impacted by AEC / MED operations during the Cold War, as well as, used as dumping grounds thereafter. These sites have long since been forgotten. Research is ongoing.
Maps of self-reported cancers and autoimmune illnesses believed to be possibly associated with ionizing radiation exposure compiled by the Coldwater Creek-Just the Facts Please Facebook group released in August 2015.
Download all Health Maps in PDF format from our website: http://www.coldwatercreekfacts.com/2015-health-maps/