The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) launched a special inspection at a uranium conversion facility in Illinois.
An alert was declared on August 1 for a uranium hexafluoride leak during maintenance activities at the Honeywell Metropolis Works. Honeywell reported that a valve installed during maintenance started to leak. There were no reported injuries and no materials were released past the site boundary. The leak was reportedly stopped almost two hours later.
The facility’s mitigation towers, which are large water sprays, were activated. Monitoring devices located at the site boundaries detected no radiological release beyond regulatory limits. The special inspection will analyze the sequence of events leading up to the release, verify that the company followed its procedures for mitigating the release and notifying local and state agencies, verify the initial information that the material remained within the plant boundary, and assess the plant’s detection and sampling systems.
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