Nuclear, O&M

NRC staff issues violation for uranium enrichment facility leak

NRC special inspection at Honeywell uranium hexafluoride leak

The staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a notice of violation to the Honeywell (NYSE: HON) Metropolis Facility in Illinois for failure to declare an alert in response to a chemical leak. The plant converts milled uranium into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is then enriched at other facilities to make commercial nuclear fuel.
A uranium hexafluoride leak occurred on October 26, 2014. The NRC staff gave Honeywell the opportunity to address the violation. In a March letter, Honeywell gave an explanation of the cause of the leak and actions taken to reduce the likelihood that it would happen again. Based on an inspection and Honeywell’s response, NRC decided there was a violation of NRC rules, but the company will not be fined because it has taken corrective actions and has not had escalated NRC enforcement action during the past two years.
Honeywell said it revised procedures to classifying an emergency and demonstrated those procedures during an emergency exercise in November.

Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine