Honeywell plant resumes production after leak investigation

The Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Illinois, resumed production Wednesday, and the company says it has determined what caused a chemical leak back on Aug. 1.

Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe says  the company’s root-cause investigation found the cause was over-pressurization of a system undergoing maintenance at the time.

Honeywell’s statement about the investigation results says "the plant has undertaken a number of immediate corrective actions to prevent such an incident in the future and has reviewed these with the NRC."

It continues:

"The plant has determined that 12.04 pounds of UF6 were released as a result of the leak. In a liquid state, this would be the equivalent of a little over 4 cups of material. The UF6 converted to 2.41 pounds of hydrofluoric acid when it was exposed to air. For reference on the size of the leak, the state of Illinois only requires plants to report releases over 100 pounds of hydrofluoric acid."

The results of the investigation were shared with inspectors with the  Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Dalpe said.

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