Toxic Gas Leak At Honeywell Prompts Probe

Aug. 6, 2015
Inspectors are examining a Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Ill.

Inspectors are examining a Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Ill., looking for answers why a chemical compound leaked out Aug. 1. A Honeywell spokesperson says they're working to find out how much uranium hexafluoride was released. A release of this same chemical happened back in October 2014.

According to The Environmental Management website, uranium hexafluoride does not react with oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or dry air, but it does react with water or water vapor. For this reason, uranium hexafluoride is always handled in leak tight containers and processing equipment. When uranium hexafluoride comes into contact with water, such as water vapor in the air, the uranium hexafluoride and water react, forming corrosive hydrogen fluoride (HF) and a uranium-fluoride compound called uranyl fluoride (UO2F2).

Honeywell officials indicated the leak was on the sixth floor of the plant’s feed materials building, The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Monitoring devices located at the site boundaries detected no radiological release beyond regulatory limits.

Honeywell Metropolis Works is the only U.S. facility that converts uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride, an essential compound used to produce enriched uranium as fuel in nuclear power plants, according to the company's website.

Read the entire story.

Sponsored Recommendations

Heat Recovery: Turning Air Compressors into an Energy Source

More than just providing plant air, they're also a useful source of heat, energy savings, and sustainable operations.

Controls for Industrial Compressed Air Systems

Master controllers leverage the advantages of each type of compressor control and take air system operations and efficiency to new heights.

Discover Your Savings Potential with the Kaeser Toolbox

Discover your compressed air station savings potential today with our toolbox full of calculators that will help you determine how you can optimize your system!

The Art of Dryer Sizing

Read how to size compressed air dryers with these tips and simple calculations and correction factors from air system specialists.