How severe was the leak at nuclear fuel plant Sunday?‏


Sunday night, something happened on the fourth floor of the nuclear fuel enrichment facility in Metropolis, Illinois. The facility is slightly more than 10 miles from Paducah, Kentucky, across the Ohio River.

World Nuclear News minimized the severity of the incident. According to a piece that appeared on WNN yesterday:

Honeywell’s uranium conversion plant at Metropolis, Illinois suffered a leak late on 26 October which plant operators said was contained by prompt action including water sprays.

Describing the incident as an “on-site leak” of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), Honeywell confirmed to World Nuclear News in an emailed statement that the incident followed “an apparent equipment failure in the main production building.”

Some local media reports added important information.

The West Kentucky Star quoted a  Honeywell official who said that the facility was under a “plant emergency.”

Paducah’s WPSD-TV received reports in the newsroom of a white cloud drifting away from the plant Sunday night. Plant officials said it was water vapor from the equipment used to contain the leak, although they didn’t say how the water was isolated from the contaminants or whether radiation testing had been conducted on the cloud.

Interesting sidenote: WPSD transmits from a tower in Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky. It’s a strange world.

At least the facility’s union employees were not exposed to the leak. They’ve been locked out for a couple of months. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The leak comes at a time the company and union-backed workers at the Massac County plant are embroiled in a contract dispute. Employees have been locked out of the site since August.

Interesting sidenote: WPSD transmits from a tower in Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky. It’s a strange world.

More as it becomes available.

About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
This entry was posted in Fuel enrichment, Honeywell, Metropolis, Radiation leak, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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