NRC Begins Special Inspection at Honeywell Uranium Conversion Facility

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: II-23-022 June 28, 2023
Contact: Dave Gasperson, 404-997-4417
NRC Begins Special Inspection at Honeywell Uranium Conversion Facility
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the Honeywell uranium conversion facility in Metropolis, Illinois, to assess a June 21 event where safety equipment failed to function during cylinder-filling operations.
Plant workers were filling a cylinder with uranium hexafluoride – known as UF6 – when they noticed a small amount of material escaping from a connection point. The workers followed plant procedures to remotely activate the valve closing device to stop the operation. When one of the remote valves failed to close, a worker closed it manually.
Honeywell reported the event as required by the NRC and suspended all UF6 cylinder filling while it investigates the incident. Honeywell also reported that plant personnel were wearing appropriate protective equipment during the event.
The NRC special inspection, which began June 28, will focus on how Honeywell inspects and maintains the safety controls associated with its cylinder-filling operations. Inspectors also will review the facts surrounding the event, the company’s response, and the corrective actions taken to prevent a similar safety equipment failure.
The inspection team will document its findings and conclusions in a public report that will be issued within 45 days of completing the inspection.