Honeywell Restarts Production Today, NRC Approves New Emergency Protocols

Nov 13, 2014

Credit Honeywell

Honeywell’s Metropolis plant restarts production today, 18 days after a gas leak at the facility.

On the evening of Oct 26, employees there reported a uranium hexafluoride gas (UF-6) leak that put the plant into emergency shutdown mode.

A company investigation determined the leak was internal and caused by mechanical failure near the end of the production process. 

Honeywell informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which conducted its own investigation and concluded no hazardous material left the site.

United Steelworkers Local 7-669, now in a labor dispute with Honeywell, disagrees with the report.  They criticize plant officials for mislabeling the incident as a “plant emergency” rather than an “alert”.

This week, Honeywell employees conducted a series of three emergency drills, the last of which was monitored yesterday by NRC representatives and local first responders.

Honeywell says the NRC checked off on improvements the plant made to its emergency protocol. From the NRC: 

The NRC has completed inspecting Honeywell’s corrective actions covered by the Confirmatory Action Letters. The NRC has concluded the implemented actions provide high confidence Honeywell will properly assess any future events in accordance with the requirements of the emergency plan and has authorized restart of the Honeywell facility.