Atomic Energy Plant with Radioactive Isotopes Once Located on Huntington Alloys Property

by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Atomic Energy Plant with Radioactive Isotopes Once Located on Huntington Alloys Property

A once classified nuclear fuel and nickel carbonyl plant serving three key gaseous diffusion plants existed on the private company’s property  operated by the federal government. The materials ranged from Uranium, Plutonium and other radionuclides whose half-lives stretch hundreds of years.

Former workers at the Huntington Pilot Plant a.k.a. Reduction Pilot Plant have been paid $6,649,813 as of March 2015, under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of working at Huntington Pilot Plant. Considered an Atomic Weapons Employer site and as a Department of Energy site under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

The compensation could climb as a petition is under review for a Special Exposure Cohort  that would include all International Nickel Company  security personnel who worked at any location within the Reduction Pilot Plant during the period from June 7, 1976 through November 26, 1978. At that time the former plant remained on standby.

Security patrolled the soon to be demolished structure. Radioactive debris traveled in open trucks through Huntington, Chesapeake and areas on Route 52 that led to a burial site on the Portsmouth Diffusion Plant property where even the trucks were buried in a “classified land fill” as machine gun holding security guards watched.

In a series of earlier stories, HNN detailed many government documents which had been declassified. You can Google Search “Huntington Pilot Plant” or use the search on this site to bring up the reports which have been fortified by government reports from the departments of Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection

Thomas Tomes of the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health on April 21, 2022 advised in a memorandum to Henry A. Anderson, M.D., Chair Uranium Refining Atomic Weapons Employers (AWEs) Work Group Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, that INCO workers who patrolled the idle plant may have received qualifying exposures for compensation consideration.

SEC Cancers

In addition to having worked for a specific period of time at one of the SEC work sites, a covered employee must also have at least one of the following types of cancer to qualify for compensation under the SEC:

Bone cancer

Renal cancers

Leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia) provided the onset of the disease was at least two years after first exposure

Lung cancer (other than in-situ lung cancer that is discovered during or after a post-mortem exam)

The following diseases provided onset was at least five years after first exposure:

Multiple myeloma

Lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease)

Primary cancer of the:

Bile ducts


Breast (female)

Breast (male)



Gall bladder

Liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated)




Salivary gland

Small intestine



Urinary bladder

They must qualify for work during SEC Designated time periods.

Security personnel had daily exposure increased from five minutes to 52 minutes, since daily the process building had five floors and exterior catwalks, the compressor structure was checked and the fencing was surveyed. Exposure times must be determined for the “stand by” maintenance workers too prior to March 4, 1975 (i.e., prior to the end of maintenance), will have to be evaluated too. * The information comes from a draft of the evaluation process and is subject to change.

This illustrates that radiation hazards were not properly documented in Huntington. Records of exposures were allegedly destroyed. Meanwhile , no documentation has been found as to what happened ta uranium o the waste from the Portsmouth, Paducah, and Oak Ridge facilities when the HPP conducted its then classified work. Various former employees have said the radioactive waste was dumped at the unlined Dietz Hollow Landfill using sites dedicated for INCO dumping done at midnight daily.

West Virginia had a DOE facility in Wood County. The Carborundum Co. produced high-grade Zirconium metal for use in construction of nuclear reactors for the Navy circa late-1950s and 1960s; and Conducted small scale Zirconium and Uranium testing in the mid-1970s. According to the DOE in a listing in the WSJ series. The DOE considered uranium extraction at the Food Machinery and Chemical Company in Nitro, WV.


The Wall Street Journal examined the nationwide “wasteland” of America’s forgotten nuclear legacy across the United States.