Idle US conversion plant preparing for 2023 restart: Corporate


February 09, 2021

Honeywell has announced its intention to reopen the only national uranium conversion facility in the United States, the Metropolis Works plant in Metropolis, Illinois. Preparations for a restart in 2023 will begin this year.

Honeywell announced in November 2017 the temporary suspension of UF6 production at Metropolis pending improved business conditions. This decision was the result of “significant challenges” facing the nuclear industry at the time, including an oversupply of UF6 around the world.

“As the only domestic uranium conversion facility, Honeywell’s Metropolis Works facility has been an important national strategic asset, well positioned to meet demand for UF6 in the United States and abroad,” said the society. “Honeywell plans to restart production at Metropolis Works in early 2023, with preparations starting this year. Honeywell will hire 160 full-time employees as well as contractors by the end of next year. We are proud to bring these jobs back to the Metropolis community to meet the needs of our clients. “

According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Metropolis plant is currently in a “ready-inactive” state with a reduced amount of material on site. The NRC last year renewed the plant’s operating license for an additional 40 years, until March 2060.

Uranium must be converted from uranium oxide – the “yellow cake” that is shipped from uranium mines and mills – into UF6 gas before it can be enriched in fissile uranium 235 for use in fuel. nuclear. In addition to Metropolis, commercial conversion plants are also operating in Canada, China, France and Russia.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News

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