Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site

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The Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site was a nuclear fuel production facility located by the Cimarron River near Cimarron City, Oklahoma. It was operated by Kerr-McGee Corporation (KMC) from 1965-1975.[1][2][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]


Some of the byproducts and waste from Kerr-McGee's Uranium and Thorium processing at its Cushing, Oklahoma refinery were transported to Cimarron in the 1960s.[3]

In 1965 Kerr-McGee received a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to make nuclear fuel at the plant.[1] The NRC license numbers were SNM-928 for the Uranium production and SNM-1174 for mixed Plutonium-Uranium Oxide (MOX) production.[4]

The plant made Uranium fuel[4] and MOX driver fuel pins for use in the Fast Flux Test Facility at the Hanford Site in Washington State. Along with NUMEC, between 1973 and 1975 Kerr-McGee made the fuel pins for FFTF cores 1 and 2. The pins were quality tested by the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford. The MOX pins were created by the unusual co-precipitation of Plutonium Nitrate and Uranium Nitrate solution method. The plant shut down in 1976.[2]

In 1983 Kerr-McGee Nuclear split into Quivira Mining Corporation and Sequoyah Fuels Corporation, although both were still owned by Kerr-McGee. Sequoyah got the Cimarron plant.[1] Sequoyah was then sold to General Atomics in 1988,[8] but Kerr-McGee kept control of Cimarron under a subsidiary named the Cimarron Corporation. In 2005 Kerr-McGee formed a new subsidiary named Tronox, and it then gained ownership of Cimarron. Tronox was then spun off as an independent company in 2006, a few months before KMC was bought by Anadarko Petroleum. Tronox went bankrupt in 2008/2009, blaming in part the environmental debts it inherited from KMC. Tronox shareholders later sued Anadarko Petroleum (KMC's successor) for having misled investors.[4][5][6][7][9]


Karen Silkwood was employed by the facility when she died in a mysterious car accident after her union activism and whistleblowing.


  1. ^ a b c Cook, Michael. "NOTIFICATION OF THE DECOMMISSIONING OF THE KERR-MCGEE, CIMARRON SITE" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b c Lini, D.C. and L. H. Rodgers. "Plutonium Finishing Plant" (PDF). Hanford / US Govt. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b "PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT KERR-MCGEE REFINERY SITE". Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Kerr-McGee - Cimarron". US NRC. April 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  5. ^ a b 2006 aug 10 press release
  6. ^ a b Kerr-McGee Completes Separation of Tronox 2006 Mar 31
  7. ^ a b Jan 13, 2009 The Oklahoman via COMTEX
  8. ^ a b "75 F3d 536 General Atomics v. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission". 1995-10-17. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  9. ^ a b "Shareholder Class Action Filed on Behalf of Purchasers of Tronox, Inc. by the Law Firm of Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, LLP". PRNewswire / Reuters. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 

Coordinates: 35°52′45″N 97°35′06″W / 35.87917°N 97.58500°W / 35.87917; -97.58500