COPY-Honeywell plant in Metropolis misclassified leak - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

COPY-Honeywell plant in Metropolis misclassified leak

METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal regulatory agency says Honeywell didn't recognize that the leak of a potentially hazardous gas at its Metropolis plant last month needed an emergency classification.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Honeywell Metropolis Works twice reported the Oct. 26 uranium hexafluoride leak as not rising to emergency thresholds. The agency says about six pounds of the leaked material solidified inside of the building and some of it escaped the building after vaporizing into non-radioactive gas.

The Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/1zjD5Ab ) reports Honeywell filed a report Wednesday acknowledging its failure to properly classify last month's leak.

Joey Ledford, a public affairs officer at NRC Region 2, says agency officials are assessing potential violations and penalties against Honeywell due to the misclassification. He says the agency determined neither workers nor the public were at risk.

Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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