NRC issues violation notice to Illinois Honeywell plant over leak

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a violation notice on Tuesday to Honeywell's Metropolis Works plant in Metropolis, Illinois.

The agency said the plant failed to report a uranium hexafluoride leak that occurred in October to the NRC. The agency will not levy a fine because the facility has performed well during previous assessments over the past two years and has taken corrective measures.

"The incident did not result in any significant actual consequences because the hazardous situation did not exist beyond the site boundary,” NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree said. “However, this enforcement action is warranted because of the inability of the plant staff to recognize that conditions existed that required the alert declaration. Had the leak been more severe, there could have been a hazardous environment beyond the site boundary and potential exposure to the public."

The NRC offered Honeywell two options, either attend a pre-decision enforcement conference or provide a written response detailing why the incident occurred and what preventive steps have been taken by the facility to address the situation. The company chose the latter option. 

Uranium hexafluoride is a highly toxic material used in enriching uranium to produce the fuel needed to power the reactor.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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