Nuclear, O&M

Gas leak investigated at uranium conversion plant in Illinois

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) started an investigation after toxic gas was leaked from the Honeywell (NYSE: HON) Metropolis uranium plant in Illinois.

Honeywell confirmed the uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas leak to Reuters, saying it was due to an equipment failure. Honeywell said in the article there were no injuries reported and no reason to believe there was any danger due to the leak. The leak comes almost three months after Honeywell locked out 150 union workers and replaced them with temporary laborers on Aug. 2, according to a release from Honeywell. However, the NRC said the equipment that failed had been installed by outside contractors, work that was previously done in-house by USW workers.

The Metropolis plant converts uranium oxide to UF6, which is then enriched to be used as fuel in nuclear power plants.

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