Uranium & Fuel

US / NRC Renews Licence For Honeywell’s Illinois Uranium Conversion Plant

By David Dalton
26 March 2020

NRC Renews Licence For Honeywell’s Illinois Uranium Conversion Plant
The Honeywell uranium conversion plant in Illinois. Photo courtesy Honeywell.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating licence of Honeywell International’s uranium conversion plant in Metropolis, Illinois, for an additional 40 years until 24 March 2060.

Honeywell submitted its licence renewal application in February 2017. In its review, the NRC staff focused on Honeywell’s decommissioning funding, the environmental effects of the facility for the duration of the licence, facility changes and safety basis, and the controls to monitor material degradation and aging for the duration of a licence term.

The staff concluded that renewing the licence would not pose an undue risk to public health and safety and would not significantly affect the quality of the environment.

The facility is currently in a “ready-idle” status with a reduced amount of material on site.

Uranium conversion is an important step in the nuclear fuel cycle. Honeywell receives uranium oxide from mills and in-situ recovery facilities and converts it to uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The UF6 is then transported to other facilities, where it is enriched and subsequently made into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power reactors.

Honeywell’s Metropolis facility is the only facility in the country that converts uranium ore into UF6.

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