US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District

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FACT SHEET-Sylvania-Corning, NY

Sylvania Corning Plant/Former Sylvania Electric Products Facility Site

Published Jan. 1, 2019

DESCRIPTION: The Sylvania Corning Plant/former Sylvania Electric Products Facility (a.k.a Sylcor) site (the Site) is a 9.49 acres area divided into three (3) separate properties located at 70, 100, and 140 Cantiague Rock Road, Town of Oyster Bay, County of Nassau, State of New York, in the westernmost portion of Hicksville, Long Island approximately thirty (30) miles east of lower Manhattan. The site was utilized for the manufacture of Government and commercial nuclear elements (e.g., cores, slugs, fuel elements) for reactors used in research and electric power generation between 1952 and 1967. Operations at the site used natural, enriched, and depleted uranium, and to a lesser extent thorium. Site contamination consists of these radioactive materials as well as nickel and volatile organics. Sylvania and related entities ("Sylvania") conducted nuclear work on site under a major contract to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) from 1952-1965 (referred to as "AEC Contract work"), and conducted other nuclear work for commercial and other government contracts (referred to as "Commercial work").

Commercial work began in 1957, which were mostly, but not completely, located on the 70 Cantiague Rock Road property. AEC Contract work occurred, mostly but not completely, on the 100 and 140 Cantiague Rock Road properties. Contract documents and AEC commercial licenses indicate that AEC Contract and Commercial work involved large amounts of similar radioactive materials (e.g., uranium and thorium) and similar volatile organic compounds such as degreasers (e.g., PCE, TCE). Waste materials were frequently burned or disposed of on site in unlined sumps. Wastes were also directed to leach pools, although little information is available as to the nature of these wastes.

Primary soil contaminants were Uranium, Thorium, solvents and nickel. GTE, a corporate predecessor to Verizon, entered into a voluntary cleanup agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) to remediate the soils at the Site to allow unrestricted future use of the Site. Soil excavation was conducted at the 100 and 140 Cantiague Rock Road properties. Nuclear materials processed under the AEC Contract were provided by the AEC. Little is known at present about ownership of the commercial materials, although common practice was for the materials to be owned by the party contracting for the fuel fabrication work. Government and commercial operations were conducted at the site. Government operations at the site were conducted under the Atomic Energy Commission’s contract #AT (30-1)-1293. Little information has been located regarding the commercial operations.

AUTHORIZATION/PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The United States Department of Energy (DOE) determined that the site is eligible for inclusion in FUSRAP. USACE will address the site under authorization given it by the U.S. Congress in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1998 to determine if there is a need for action.

STATUS: USACE completed a Preliminary Assessment in FY05 and an on-site Remedial Investigation (RI) in FY10. The Site was included in a Regional Groundwater Listing on the National Priorities List (NPL) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2011. Off-site groundwater characterization has been completed, and is included in a comprehensive RI report currently under EPA and NYSDEC review. Coordination with EPA and NYSDEC is ongoing.

 

CONTACT:

Helen K. Edge, PMP

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Phone: (917) 790-8332

E-mail: helen.k.edge@usace.army.mil

Program and Project Management Division 26 Federal Plaza

New York, NY 10278