Uranium hexafluoride release tonight at Honeywell Works, Metropolis, IL.

There was a confirmed uranium hexafluoride release at Honeywell Works in Metropolis, IL at 8pm tonight. Sirens have sounded and Honeywell guards have told people to shelter in place, close windows, and turn off A/C.

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The Honeywell Works converts raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride. It is then pumped across the Ohio River to the Paducah plant, for the manufacture of nuclear fuel for nuke power plants.

There were two major releases of UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) from this plant in May 2012, they were covered here at:

Uranium hexafluoride releases at Honeywell Metropolis Works, May 2012. Part 1.

Uranium hexafluoride releases at Honeywell Metropolis Works, May 2012. Part 2.

UF6 is very dangerous. For one thing, it is a neutron emitter like plutonium. The hydrofluoric acid that is created on contact with water vapor is corrosive and deadly. You don’t want to breathe this stuff.

It was noted to be moving west from Metropolis. Wind maps indicate that the wind is from the southeast, so the plume would be moving northwest. Cape Girardeau MO and St Louis MO, or points in between, would seem to be where it is headed. And it won’t stop there.

UPDATE 10/29: From Radchick. NRC: Status of Honeywell Accident 10.29.14

NRC: Status of Honeywell Accident 10.29.14

*NRC is on-site, has been since Monday (one guy).
*Area in plant is still being decontaminated.
*Plant is SHUT DOWN until investigation is complete.
*Investigator interviews show sabotage was unlikely.
*Preliminary indications is there was a weakness in joint at bottom of one container, metallurgic forensic testing may be needed. Leak was stopped sometime Sunday evening, but he wasn’t sure exactly when.
*SO FAR it doesn’t look like contamination made it over the fence, but they are still looking at data. Sketchy answer.
*Aware of reports of people smelling and tasting something possibly toxic.
*Runoff “probably” went into drains and wells will show it, but he was unsure if drains even exist on property!
*No indication Ohio River was contaminated, EPA (and possibly Illinois FEMA?) is there testing too.
*Not aware of anyone from surrounding community that went to ER for treatment, but he was a bit sketchy about this. Community hospitals seem to have NO PLAN in the event of an emergency. I find it very surprising in light of the numerous leaks that have occurred there. That’s bad, and needs to be addressed by the local hospitals and community leaders at once imo.
30 days til final report is released, prelim report in as early as several days.

36 thoughts on “Uranium hexafluoride release tonight at Honeywell Works, Metropolis, IL.

      • I saw St Charles IL was highly elevated. I don’t know if this has anything to do with Honeywell of not.

        A fella north of WIPP had high readings the other day. This is extremely concerning because it’s hard to pick up WIPP radionuclides from a Geiger counter.

  1. When we called the plant to ask why the Honeywell sirens were going off the guards said to shelter in place, turn off air, & close windows.

    It was shooting out like a geyser an hour ago… it has definitely left the property. I drove by it myself on the way to the casino and then turned around and took the interstate home… it reminded me of the geyser in STL as you go over the bridge… it was HUGE.

    They are the reason so many people know about the leak if not for the union workers at metropolis no one would have known honey well was trying to cover it up

    Does it have an odor I could smell something in the air when we went into town .

    Just spoke to my mom who lives on mt Mission Rd right past country club. She can smell something & heard sirens. Dad is currently is currently in chemo & other health issue effecting his immune system. Have they called for evacuations yet?

    It didn’t look contained to me, It was moving across 45 towards country club rd and smelled like polish remove!! I could see them spraying water on the building to the left at the front of the plant. I was just told that UF6 reacts violently with water, does anyone know if that is true?

      • Quote from above link:

        “If you add water to acid, you form an extremely concentrated solution of acid initially. So much heat is released that the solution may boil very violently, splashing concentrated acid out of the container! If you add acid to water, the solution that forms is very dilute and the small amount of heat released is not enough to vaporize and spatter it.”

        What a bunch of knuckleheads.

        • Spraying water is a great way to increase plume mobility too, iirc. It’s amazing how much air those little droplets of water can displace.

          Tesla would have been able to mop up a significant portion, if i have the fractional spin correctly.
          Here in Canada, when i here Tesla’s name, i remember the Avro Arrow (although that might be partially because of Avro’s laughable prototype UFO flight test program).

  2. This should set off some rad detection eh Bobby1? Given the wind direction and velocity you figure it is traveling St Louis way. When would be a reasonable time for that? Isn’t SL where “pissingontheroses” lives? If he detects it but none of the EPA monitors detect it we have another coverup at the federal level. Everyday is Fukushima day.

  3. I read this quote the other day, and thought it profound:

    “Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality, and governments destroy freedom.”
    ― Michael Ellner

  4. WTF??? I just saw this on RSOE-EDIS.

    Quote: “We have received multiple phone calls to the newsroom tonight over a rumor that the Honeywell plant in Metropolis is leaking uranium hexa-floride, or UF6, into the community.

    We have contacted the Massac County Sheriff’s Office. They tell us Honeywell is releasing UF6, but it is an in-house release. The sheriff’s office says no one is in any danger.

    Honeywell Spokesperson Peter Dalpe sent our newsroom a statement that reads, “The Metropolis facility experienced a leak of UF6 in its main production building at approximately 7:35 p.m. local time. The leak has been contained and a trained response team is currently working to ensure the leak has been stopped completely.”

    http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/index.php?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=HZ-20141027-45778-USA

    Is this an indication the company plans some early retirement packages, for it’s most loyal and dedicated serfs? WTF are the downwinders to do, smile? Will residents be asked to “hurry up and die” “you’re costing the system money” like Japanese Senior Citizens had a couple of years ago? I am utterly disgusted with the “too cheap to meter” attitude to life in general, and human life specifically. My Lord, My Lord; why have we forsaken thee?

  5. I do wish some of these people shooting video in the future can take some notes from Ontological on diffraction gratings, etc. to potentially collect some signitures, if possible. Perhaps people around such things as garbage dump fires could help identify some of the radiologically “serious shit”, aiding in prevention, &/or precautionary principle.

    I’ve oft wished Ontological would pipe in on his impressions over at Majia’s about arc-like phenomenon witnessed, and possible means of garnering data, &/or approximations.

    Look to the sky, i think it was, someone said, long ago, in this very galaxy, and prolly not very far away compared to the heliosphere, eh?
    It’s starting to remind me of the sky from one of those old “Highlander” movies. Was it the second or third? :lol

    What would JFK have thought, after having been informed about 90Sr in children’s teeth??? (in relevent accent: “I wanna see all manmade radionuclidic waste on the far side of the moon, or more sensible means, within the next ten years.”) Atoms?4get’boutIt!!!

    • My thoughts and prayers are with my brothers, sisters, evensomuchas the most distant cousins, neighbors, and many wonderful others of Eastern North America. 😐

  6. Conflicting reports have circulated among Metropolis, Illinois, residents concerning the Sunday, Oct. 26, uranium hexafluoride leak at the Honeywell plant at about 7:35 p.m. Although a plant news release quickly stated that no injuries have been reported and the leak was contained to plant property, resident Gaylan Hayden told HNN Thursday night, Oct. 30, of leaving the union hall “flabbergasted.”

    Union representatives are reporting that seven people north of the plume suffered burns and that another seven to ten at or near the EEI plant who had sheltered in place also suffered injuries. Union employees walking a picket line Sunday night distributed a video of the release; however, Honeywell claims it was spray used to contain leaks.

    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/99639

  7. Quote: “Honeywell issued blanket denials and had initially insisted the release was water mist but has now admitted it was uranium gas after the NRC began to investigate. This is also not the first uranium gas leak at the plant. It has happened many times before.”
    http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=13992

    Quote: “Another source indicated that about a month ago, three workers were hurt inside the plant, but were told not to tell anyone about their injuries.”

    “College age replacement workers have been operating the plant during the latest union work stoppage. “They are students and interns training to be engineers,” a resident said.”
    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/99639

    Regardless of age, a safety-minded culture needs experienced and well-trained people in close supervision that encourages prompt inter-communication first, IMHO.

    (That Sellafield article was a real eye-opener too. All risk and no possible return other than very, very negative.)

    Also see: http://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/17-serious-safety-violations-at-honeywell-uranium-conversion-plant-found-subsequent-to-release-of-vapor-and-much-more/

    Another proven example of outright deception.
    It is part of a pattern that most readers probably reckognize too.
    Wouldn’t “regeim-change” be warrented to install a culture of safety?

    Quote: “The problems revealed include not protecting workers with appropriate safety gear, ignoring expert advice gathered over decades on how to make the worksite safer, and deceiving employees on the severity of the chemical exposures.”
    http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/investigations/2014/10/28/hanford-vapors-report/18042229/

  8. In an event report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) by Honeywell, the company claims that, according to their own Emergency Response protocol, the event “should have been upgraded” at 7:42pm to “Alert” status.

    Honeywell Spokesperson, Peter Dalpe, in multiple statements claimed “All plant emergency procedures were followed,” but now the company is admitting that may not be the case. Dalpe went as far as to say, “It is disappointing that the union is spreading misleading information about Sunday’s incident and the site’s appropriate and effective emergency response.”

    In a report filed by the NRC outlining the initial results of their investigation states the “NRC inspection found that Honeywell did not recognize that the HF released from the FMB warranted an emergency classification of ALERT.” The report added, “Honeywell has determined that if any HF travelled beyond their property it would have been of such low concentration as to pose no public safety hazard.”

    On October 26, the night of the release, Honeywell reported to local news stations WPSD and WSIL that “no material left the building.” The statements from the company changed over time to “no UF6 material left the building,” and “no UF6 material left the site.” Company statements on October 28 claimed that “Had any UF6 or HF approached the facility’s perimeter, our sensors would have been triggered and we would have evacuated the area,” however, as the union pointed out, there are no active perimeter HF sensors on the west fence line, the direction the plume was moving during the event.

    United Steelworkers Local 7-669 President, Stephen Lech, said “It is unfortunate that the NRC was not even going to investigate the event and simply take Honeywell’s word for their response until the union sent the Commission a video of the event. We are now beginning to see that the union’s claims of an inadequate response were not an over reaction.”

    http://usw7-669.com/story/honeywell-admits-misclassifying-emergency

  9. PRESS RELEASE UPDATE: DANGEROUS URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE LEAK WORSE THAN INITIALLY REPORTED, REGULATOR SAYS

    “Emergency response and public awareness to a hazardous release from Honeywell depends on the reliable, honest and timely reporting by Honeywell. No government agencies can detect in real time an ongoing release of radioactive Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) or toxic Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) at the facility”, stated Gail Snyder, Board President of Nuclear Energy Information Service.

    In a phone conversation with Roger Hanah of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) he conveyed that Honeywell’s Emergency Response Plan includes stationing a person in position to view and observe the incident and that the person was not originally stationed in a location that allowed him/her to see the release of Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) from the building. An updated NRC Event Report states “the NRC inspection found that Honeywell did not recognize that the HF (Hydrogen Fluoride) released from the FMB (Facilities Management Building) warranted an emergency classification of ALERT. “ As a result Honeywell did not notify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at that time. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency which issues the site permit and regulates the process where the leak occurred was not notified of the incident until a few days after it happened…

    Honeywell submitted an additional event report on or around November 3rd, after the original incident and during the shutdown of the production of Uranium Hexafluoride Honeywell that reported the “UNPLANNED MEDICAL TREATMENT OF A CONTAMINATED INDIVIDUAL.” The employee slipped and fell in a gravel area: “A whole body radiological survey of the employee and plant clothing was performed,” contamination was present with the most occurring on the upper back of the employee’s plant issued coveralls. Upon the completion of first aid activities, the employee routinely exit monitored from the facility and reported to an off-site medical facility for further evaluation. No additional contamination found on the employee.” It could not be determined from the report or questions to the NRC if the employee was injured or contaminated in relation to repair or clean-up work from the event on October 26th. The inspection report related to the Oct. 26th event or other regular inspection reports in the future may convey more information about the contaminated employee.

    “The staggering number of mistakes, inaccuracies, changed stories, and inadequate responses on the part of both Honeywell and the NRC beg for an independent investigation into Honeywell’s ability to run so sensitive a facility, and NRC’s ability to adequately regulate it,” asserts Dave Kraft, Director of NEIS. “NRC’s existing regulatory scheme does not seem capable of protecting the public health and safety in a timely and responsible manner. Illinois’ Congressional Delegation needs to look into this matter,” Kraft states.

    http://neis.org/press-release-update-dangerous-uranium-hexafluoride-leak-worse-than-initially-reported-regulator-says/

  10. Bobby1 – I haven’t been around awhile and was looking for xdrfox’s work on sealife on BeforeItsNews and noticed he hasn’t posted there for awhile, nor here. Is he okay? Thanks.

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