The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) advised officials July 24 at Honeywell Metropolis Works that they have satisfied the terms of a 2012 confirmatory order issued to the uranium coversion plant requiring modifications to protect the facility against major earthquakes and tornadoes.
During an inspection in May 2012, the NRC determined that process equipment at Honeywell lacked adequate seismic restraints, supports and bracing to ensure integrity during such events. Honeywell agreed to make the modifications, which were outlined in the confirmatory order issued in October 2012.
The NRC confirmed during inspections that the completed modifications complied with agency requirements and authorized the facility to resume operations in July 2013. The NRC reviewed Honeywell’s revised integrated safety analysis last month and determined it was adequate, clearing the way for the lifting of the order this week.
“Honeywell’s corrective actions have satisfied the terms of the confirmatory order, which we have closed,” said Victor McCree, the NRC’s Region II administrator. “The company has taken the necessary actions to protect the community and the environment.”
In a company statement from Honeywell, spokesman Peter Dalpe said the announcement that the NRC closed the confirmatory order is a milestone for facility and the community.
“During 2012 and 2013, Honeywell invested more than $40 million to reinforce the plant against strong earthquakes and tornados and comply with post-Fukushima standards and to ensure the safety of the plant, its employees and the surrounding community. Importantly, that investment allowed the plant to resume operations in July of last year and preserved 270 good jobs in Metropolis — including 134 union positions — that would have been lost otherwise,” said Dalpe.