UF6 Leak Confirmed at Metropolis Honeywell Plant
By West Kentucky Star Staff
METROPOLIS, IL - The Honeywell plant in Metropolis confirmed a leak of uranium hexafluoride at around 7:35 pm Sunday.
In a news release issued late Sunday night, the company said the "leak has been contained and a trained response team is currently working to ensure the leak has been stopped completely."
Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe said in the news release that "there have been no injuries and there is no indication that any material has left the building. All plant emergency procedures were followed and safety equipment worked as designed."
West Kentucky Star received pictures and videos believed to be taken at the plant Sunday night showing a white, cloudy substance above the plant, moving off to the west. Dalpe told WSIL-TV that the cloudy substance was spray from water used to contain leaks.
Massac County Emergency Management Director Joe Miller said he was contacted by Honeywell. Miller said the leak was contained to the inside the building. He told WSIL-TV that Honeywell was under a plant emergency, but there was no danger to surrounding homes.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified, and the plant is still operating.
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.
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