NRC OKs Honeywell Metropolis to resume operations

After inspecting plant modifications at the Honeywell (NYSE: HON) uranium conversion plant in Metropolis, Ill., the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that the company may resume all NRC-licensed activities.

In October 2012, the NRC issued a confirmatory order to Honeywell describing the steps the company would have to take before it could resume its uranium conversion operations. That order came after inspections earlier in 2012 identified concerns related to the likelihood of a release of uranium hexafluoride following an earthquake or tornado.

“Honeywell has appropriately enhanced the plant’s ability to withstand earthquakes and tornadoes,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree.

The plant has been shut down since May 2012 and the company has been enhancing and modifying equipment to meet the requirements of that order. In June, the NRC allowed the plant to begin limited operations, but today’s decision authorizes operation of all of the plant processes covered by its NRC license.

The Honeywell plant takes milled uranium and converts it into uranium hexafluoride. That compound is then processed at other facilities to make fuel for commercial power reactors.

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