Operations & Building Locations at Metals & Controls | Texas Instruments
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Operations with radioactive materials began at the site in 1952 when Metals and Controls, Inc., began fabricating enriched uranium foils. Metals and Controls became a division of Texas Instruments in 1959 (NRC, 1997). For the purposes of this discussion, both “TI” and “Metals and Controls” are used interchangeably to describe the same facility, albeit at different points in time. From 1952 through 1965, under a variety of government contracts, Metals and Controls fabricated enriched uranium fuel elements for the U.S. Naval Reactors Program, the U.S. Air Force, other U.S. Government-funded research, and a few commercial customers. From 1965 through 1981, TI fabricated fuel for the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other Government-owned research reactors. Depleted uranium and processed natural uranium were also used at the facility for research and development.
Operations with radioactive materials were initially conducted in portions of what is now Building 4, with very limited operations conducted in Building 3. In 1956, Metals and Controls constructed Building 10 to house all manufacturing work involving radioactive materials; by 1957, all such work was moved to that location. Processing included the fabrication of uranium foils for reactor experiments and fuel components, fabrication of complete reactor cores for the Naval Reactors program, and fabrication of uranium fuel elements for experimental and research reactors (NRC, 1997).
Information on the handling and processing of thorium is limited. The use of thorium at Metals and Controls Corp. is indicated in undated product literature (M&C, unknown date-b, p. 45; Drummey, 1956, p. 60; TI, 1959) and from a 1960 brochure (TI, 1960). Based on these references, Metals and Controls supplied thorium foil strips for criticality experiments, source tests, and reactivity tests. Thorium was vacuum-melted and cast into flat ingots. These ingots were subsequently rolled to the desired thickness. A 1964 health and safety manual references thorium use (M&C, 1964), while the 1968 version of this document (M&C, 1968) makes no mention of thorium. No versions are available in the intervening years or prior to the 1964 version.