Official: “Plant Emergency” at U.S. Nuclear Facility, Uranium Gas Released — Eyewitnesses: “There’s the plume… It was moving across highway… Chemical taste in mouth… I could smell it!” — Size of release unknown — Emergency crew trying to find source and whether it has stopped (VIDEO)

Published: October 27th, 2014 at 6:02 pm ET
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246 comments


WPSD (emphasis added): Calls to the newsroom… over a rumor that the Honeywell plant… is leaking uranium hexafloride [UF6] … into the community… Sheriff’s Office [says it] is releasing UF6 [but] no one is in any danger… Spokesperson Peter Dalpe [said there’s] no… indication that any material has left the building… the plant immediately notified emergency responders as per emergency procedures.

Paducah Sun: [The plant in Illinois] experienced a leak of a radioactive gasemergency personnel are still working to find the specific source of the leak… A picture of the plant shrouded in mist was circulating… with speculation that the mist was the actual leaking gas.

West Kentucky Star: [We] received pictures and videos… showing a white, cloudy substance above the plant, moving off to the west… Emergency Management Director Joe Miller [said] Honeywell was under a plant emergency.

AP: The plant helps make nuclear fuel… the company and union-backed workers… are embroiled in a contract dispute. Employees have been locked out of the site

DOE: UF6… is the chemical form of uranium used during the uranium enrichment process.

WSIL: Honeywell released new information Monday… “The plant is continuing its investigation into the incident and working to determine how much material was released.”… The local union president posted a picture showing a white vapor over the plant… News release [said the] “response team is currently working to ensure the leak has been stopped completely.”… Pictures taken at the plant Sunday night showed white… cloudy substance… Dalpe said it is spray from water that used to contain leaks… [UF6] reacts with water.

Wikipedia: UF6… reacts with the water in the air to produce uranyl fluoride and hydrogen fluoride both of which are highly corrosive and toxic… EU classification: Very toxic

Excerpts from videos published by Steelworker Local 7-669 Union support pagePart 1: “Wind’s blowing to the west… See the haze… that’s all release — UF6… You can see the spray… they’re trying to mitigate it” — Part 2: “There’s the plume of UF6 leaving Honeywell’s property… No fog out… There’s the cloud of either UF6 or HF going right over the fence”

> Marla L.: I could smell something in the air when we went into town
> Janet H.: Chemical taste in our mouth… Maybe lil’ headache too
> Chelle F.: It was shooting out like a geyser an hour ago… it has definitely left the property. I drove by it… and took the interstate home… it was HUGE — Part 2: It is far from contained
> Melissa B.: Didn’t look contained…It was moving across [US] 45…smelled like polish remove!!
> Rachel D.: My mom… on mt Mission Rd… can smell something… Dad is currently in chemo
> Me’Lissa E.: I live just past Joppa road and could smell it!

Watch the videos here

Published: October 27th, 2014 at 6:02 pm ET
By

246 comments

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246 comments to Official: “Plant Emergency” at U.S. Nuclear Facility, Uranium Gas Released — Eyewitnesses: “There’s the plume… It was moving across highway… Chemical taste in mouth… I could smell it!” — Size of release unknown — Emergency crew trying to find source and whether it has stopped (VIDEO)

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      As long as it's not from "inside" of the bags zipped-up with a tag on it all's well[?]! 😐 They're pretty lax as far as controls re; the way UF-6 is handled & regarded as far as miscellaneous Shitium is concerned. My late,Great Uncle Vic was a Master Mechanic/welder/machinist and was infamously known for his "procurement" of industrial equipment,tools & asstd. "materials". I also learned something that offers me a small sense of relief(not really) that he had been subcontracted by heavy industry contacts via his respected position with UOP corp. that he'd been given side-jobs including critically important welding tasks that saw him travel to NPP's he'd had a part in constructing,perhaps the only welds holding back disasters in our own back yards were the beads he laid down? He did a lot of welding of stainless steel & alloys. My point being that he'd left behind a LOT of specialty tools & other WEIRD stuff including #3 old,glass Hinkley & Schmidt water bottles filled to varying levels with a label written in marker on masking tape stating,"U-Hexaflouride"??!! WTH??!!One of our many partying sessions in the garage led to a .22 cal. bullet-hole through the glass bottle cleanly in & out just above the top of the yellowish,clear liquid which evaporated only slightly over the years but who knows how it actually impacted our family & guests who were exposed to whatever it actually was? I wonder WHY he even had it & what HE used it for? 😐 My family was/is nuts!! 🙁

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        It's sorta OT,so I'll keep it short,but I'm wondering if anyone knows what UF-6 would've been doing in with his welding supplies??
        Thanks in advance! Gotta run again,but I'll be back to check the threads in a bit. TTYL ALL BLADE;out

        • Maybe a trophy?

          Kind of like hunters bag game and hang the heads?

          if welding UOF tanks, the trophy would be to 'bag' some UOF?

          • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

            @Dr.GH; lol, Yes Doc,he left many "trophies" behind with his passing. Some of 'em weren't exactly what one would "choose" to inheirit! 😐 !! Actually regarding the jug of UF-6 he "procured",I'd found something that probably answered my own question[?] Apparently UF-6 reacts chemically with aluminum to create a "coating" & incredibly durable & corrosion resistant finish. It sorta makes sense when taking into consideration that he was without equal in terms of his welding,metal-working/machinist & mastery of mechanical skills.[?] He was a stubborn old coot but made for an "interesting" if not "hazardous" childhood for those who grew up in that well-built & maintained big,old brick house and I wonder how he and/or all of my family that died off before 311/Fukushima would feel about it or any of the ugly,unpatriotic turns America has taken since they were young if they were still around? I know that his brother,my late,Great Uncle Jack would make sure my mother & her siblings had rides to & from school when he knew there'd been A-Bomb tests conducted in the desert SW USA and I'd bet he'd have been able to be counted on to be the voice of reason or at least side with those of us who prefer to live & die without nuclear shitium having an impact on life or death & lies from those we elect to lead us AWAY from danger & instability,not embrace it & profit from it like the pricks in politics today[?]! The S.S.Nukageddon's sinking & all souls aboard are lost! :(…

        • Bungalow Phil Bungalow Phil

          JB,
          If you have a GC a survey meter or can acquire one I would test the area post-haste. It would still be radioactive and would stay that way till the end of time. I found this site useful for edification on the subject of Uf6. Hope this is helpful and hope it is NOT what it appears to be. Best regards.

          http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/guide/uf6/index.cfm

          • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

            @BungalowPhil; Thanks for the tip! I WISH we hadn't lost that big,brick bungalow built by my family in the early 1920's & lost to vultures when my 1st "caregiver" charge,my late-Grandmother,the last of the old-timer's left passed away in 2000 & the 12 bedroom,6 bathroom house with 2,3-car garages,a machine shop,fallout/storm shelter & city-block size backyard was lost via deception & greed of a pair of collusive relatives with a shady lawyer & forged will. A long story that's unfortunately repeated all too often,especially by those of us who saw it happen to other families & said,"man,that's foul!glad that wouldn't ever happen in MY family"! It does & it DID! 🙁 I'd be interested to see if the stuff still could be detected there but I have only been on the old block twice since 2000 & felt sad & bitter without setting foot on my stolen ancestral property & birthright as it were & I still live under a mile away from it! 🙁 I'd say the only thing left that I'd "inheirited" from the good ol'days is the legacy of the Cold War & TMI,Chernobyl,even CP-1 & CP-2,the 1st Manhattan Project "Piles" of Shitium which were open-air reactors that probably was also the 1st irradiating events that sent radioactive fallout clouds over the Chicagoland area ever from the location @ Red Gate Woods,Cook Co,Forest Preserve Dist. about 2-3 miles southwest of here??!! I'm less than "proud" of IL's status as the PUKIEST of nukist states with 11 NPP's supplying 48% of our…

            • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

              [cont'd]-power! 🙁 They just passed more nuke-happy,anti-renewables/clean power legislations that set IL back 10 years from where it might have been going re; getting rid of obsolete technology & utility co./govt./(so-called)"protective" agencies collusion!
              I want OUT OF HERE and aside from a few people missed,won't ever look back!! I can't even vote next week because I've yet to find any political party or candidates who HAVEN'T been "bought" by the likes of EXELON,ComEd,etc.!! My anti-nuke sentiment has neither escaped TPTB's attention nor endeared me to them,but they've already done everything they could via "inter-agency cooperation" to me that they could find,fabricate or sanction me with so EFF 'EM!!
              Take Care & Thanks again for the replies! HAPPY HALLOWEEN ALL!! 🙂

  • Dee Dee

    Yes, Obewan, the Nikkei has one of the largest number of shorts betting against it in years. The market is about to let us know just how bad things really are in Japan.

  • Dick Shenary

    "There have been several accidents involving uranium hexafluoride in the United States, including a cylinder-filling accident and material release at the Sequoyah Fuels Corporation in 1986. The U.S. government has been converting DUF6 to solid uranium oxides for disposal. Such disposal of the entire DUF6 inventory could cost anywhere from $15 million to $450 million." Another nasty aspect of the uranium fuel cycle comes to light. The 450 million is probably way to low an estimate for the upper range. These accidents cause disease and who pays for treatment? Not the government or industry, it is the afflicted who must pay. If all of the real world costs of nuclear energy were added up, we would find the price tag to be so unimaginably high as to astound even the most ardent supporter. "Too cheap to meter" has become "Too expensive to contemplate."

  • jackassrig

    I known all about fatigue. Many many cat scans and chemo. Radiation in the body can really slow you down. It takes about week to wash it out and then I begin to recover. I say this because if persons around these plants start to feel debilitating fatigue, it many not be low testosterone. The fire alarms in the new houses are loaded with radioactive material. That's how the monitor counts the number of particles that fly by. I must have 10 or 12 of these devices in my house. This may not be healthy. I know the old soviet subs were open on the bottom of the reactors so everywhere they went they irradiated the ocean. I'm not sure about the US subs.

  • jackassrig

    I think we are living in a cess pool. I think one day the background radiation may be so high that public will not know when there's an accident.

    • Dick Shenary

      JAR – "I think one day the background radiation may be so high that public will not know when there's an accident." Think Santa Susana, a major meltdown that was hidden from the public for 25 years. What isn't hidden is downplayed. After all, this technology is so unnecessary and so monstrously dangerous that it must be lied about, otherwise the people would refuse to support or pay for it.

      • califnative califnative

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/luxembourg-hands-out-iodine-pills-over-fears-of-french-nuclear-mishap-9802668.html

        "A series of accidents at France’s controversial Cattenom nuclear power station has prompted the government in neighbouring Luxembourg to take the unprecedented step of issuing free iodine pills to its half a million citizens to help protect them in the event of a serious nuclear incident at the plant.

        The extraordinary measures were announced on Wednesday this week by Luxembourg’s Interior Minister Dan Kersch, who said they were designed to “prevent panic” and the likelihood of a “rush” on the country’s chemists in the aftermath of an accident at Cattenom. “The keywords here are ‘early precaution’,” Mr Kersch said."

        Makes you feel proud to be a United States citizen doesn't it? I know our government is watching out for us, if a nuclear accident should happen I'm sure they would tell us how to protect ourselves. I voted for Obama twice.

        Repost

        • demise demise

          This must be sarcasm. Obama hasn't said a truthful word since his first election speech. Looking out for you from golf course is difficult if he gave even a damn.
          The only truth you will get from his mouth is when he calls for Marshall Law and starts the bon fires to burn the constitution with.

  • Sickputer

    Re: cesium 137/134 a bone-seeker?

    SP: Not the same proclivity for bone marrow as Sr-90, but cesium radioisotopes are an equal opportunity human destroyer of bone marrow. The Brazilian victims proved that:

    http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7389

  • ISeePinkClouds

    Yes. NEWSERS. I am overwhelmed by the way everyone here has jumped on this story to get the Truth,and the Rad Word Out. Honestly, I have never been so impressed. A quick look this morning showed nothing on this story on the MSM, but NEWSERS have it covered in detail, and post haste. That just goes to show that MSM doesn't have citizens best interest in mind. In fact, they are nothing but shills for the Nuclear Industry. The work done here by informed, intelligent, competant people on ENENEWS can save lives. If just one person in Metropoplis, or anywhere near there, gets their news here, and they took action to protect themselves based on the aggregate, then ENENEWS saved that person from exposure to Radiation, and Toxic Chemicals, and prevented short and long term illness, suffering, and potentially death. What a great job everyone has done! Dr Goodheart, you always do good such good work, and this time is no exception. In fact, you were totally on top of it. Everyone here did, and everyone here was. Thank you NEWSERS. Thank you for all the work you do to help others. Myself included. Blessings. Peace

    • bf9 bf9

      I have to admit, we were literally the first news outlet to get on this outside of local news. HUGE props to everyone here and you're spot on pink- stay focused on all times.

      There is even hard data being used from this site in the case against TEPCO filed by the Navy personnel!

      Keep this going guys, each day that goes on the views continue to climb.

  • Another next generation nuclear plant 'success' story

    French Superphenix Liquid Sodium Cooled Fast Breeder Reactor Attacked By Terrorists, Cost 60 Billion Francs, (No Decommissioning) Generated Only 1 Billion Electricity, Then Closed
    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2014/10/french-superphenix-liquid-sodium-cooled.html

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Another lovely nuke flower…

    http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/decommissioning/fuel-cycle/honeywell.html

    "Honeywell's proposed decommissioning design presents several unusual challenges because Honeywell has elected to leave waste in place under unrestricted land use conditions."

    • ISeePinkClouds

      Yes. unincredulous. Thank you. In light of Honeywell's negligence and irresponsibility, leading to this accident, and the very real and potential tragic health consequences resulting from it; the whole plant should be decommissioned, by Law, today, and Honeywell should be: fined in order to punish them for their negligence, made to clean up their mess, and to compensate the victims in Metropoplis, and elsewhere, for any and all damages incurred; and to stop profiting from Nuclear Proliferation. Peace

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Unrestricted land use conditions? Hey maybe someone should open up a dirty bomb material recreational dig there. They could offer good behavior vacations for Guantanamo inmates.

      Like the public diamond mining park:

      http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/

    • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

      Not to mention this:

      "The Honeywell plant converts raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride. It is pumped across the Ohio River for the manufacture of nuclear power at the Paducah plant."

      (from http://www.huntingtonnews.net/99393 )

      Considering the plant is 3 mi NW of the city, that's an awfully long UH6 pipeline. And people think oil transport pipelines are potentially bad for the environment…

  • AirSepTech AirSepTech

    We do need jobs, things to keep idle minds busy. Why produce anything of value when you can push shit in a circle.

    http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/news/news/2746915/DUF6-conversion-process-doubles-productivity

    http://www.bwconversionservices.com/our-process

  • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

    So, correct me if I'm wrong but the water neutralizes the hydrofloric acid, leaving fairly less-harmful products *and* still-highly-radioactive-uranium. Basically, they neutralize the uranium's vehicle used for processing.

    From: http://ibilabs.com/uranium-uranyl-thorium-compounds/uranyl-compounds/uranyl-fluoride/ :

    "In accidental releases of UF6, UO2F2, as a solid particulate compound, may deposit on the ground. The overall chemical reaction of this event can be represented as: UF6+ 2H2O ? UO2F2+ 4HF. These reactions can take place whether the uranium hexafluoride is a solid or a gas, but will take place almost instantaneously when the UF6 is in a gaseous state. The resulting hydrofluoric acid and the presence of additional water results in formation of solids (primarily HF adducts of hydrated uranyl fluoride (UO2F2-nH2O)."

    Phew! All that's left is hydrated uranyl floride! Totally harmless stuff, I'm sure. Except…

    "After enrichment, UF6 is reacted in the gaseous state with water vapour to yield hydrated uranyl fluoride (UO2F2 · H2O). Hydrogen reduction of the uranyl fluoride produces powdered UO2, which can be used to prepare ceramic nuclear reactor fuel (see below Chemical compounds: Oxide fuels)."

    (from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/619232/uranium-processing/81603/Conversion-and-isotopic-enrichment )

    • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

      "Wind maps indicate it may move into St. Louis, Mo."

      Well. At least that would indicate why the gas was in precipitated out. Wonder how they plan to clean up the grounds where ever the solids landed…

  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Have they really ever cleaned up this crap they let lose on regular basics but we never know about most of it. The same old cover their ass games goes on decades into a century soon. I am to old to worry about being around in 2525, but the children I care so much about, will they? Honeywell, no honey in it, just miles of piping contaminated & falling apart from the radiation materials that weaken metal, concrete & lays waste to the lands surrounding the place. Nuke plants & processing facilities world wide are so run down, even shutting them all down now will leave so much waste to be attended to for a 100,000 years of close guard.
    Peace

  • We Not They Finally

    "no indication that any material have left the building" versus "working to determine how much material was released" and "a plant emergency"??

    Why has there been no EVACUATION of the area pending determination, and who has death on their hands THIS time? And who here (if anyone, and it might be no one) is committed to doing a better job of protecting the public than the Japanese?

  • We Not They Finally

    "Sheriff’s Office [says it] is releasing UF6 [but] no one is in any danger." Does the Sheriff even know what uranium hexaflouride IS? Or just following orders?

  • One of the witnesses mentioned HUGE and a good distance…

    About 95% of the depleted uranium produced to date is stored as uranium hexafluoride, DUF6, in steel cylinders in open air yards close to enrichment plants. Each cylinder contains up to 12.7 tonnes (or 14 US tons) of SOLID UF6.

    If huge was the actual release what happened to get the Hex so hot?

    http://web.evs.anl.gov/uranium/guide/uf6/propertiesuf6/index.cfm

    • Angela_R

      If they are converting DEPLETED uranium to uranium hexafluoride, are they going to use that again in nuclear reactors?

      Btw the link on that page, I think, is about the use of uranium ore. In the column on the left, you will see depleted uranium, click and it will take you to its particulars.

      I suspect it has already been proved by its use in Iraq, that the radioactivity of depleted uranium is by no means inactive.

      Note:
      On October 28th, ICBUW, together with other representatives of civil society coalitions, addressed member states at the UN General Assembly First Committee.
      http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/icbuw-statement-on-depleted-uranium-to-unga14

      • melting mermaid melting mermaid

        About ninety percent of the casualties of the Iraq war were civilians. I don't think they care about the effects of du on the people they are killing. The military should be an arm of the people, iin defense of the people restrained from such activities by an informed public. However, that is opposite of the reality.

        • Angela_R

          "I don't think they care about the effects of du on the people they are killing"

          and when the atmospheric winds bring it back to them?
          They're different 'innocents' are they?

          If they sought war, approved the use of, or used weapons that would kill civilians, then they are hardly innocent.

    • Angela_R

      Onto and enoughalready,
      from the link @ http://neis.org/metropolis-radiation-site-emergency-leak-of-toxic-uranium-hexafluoride/ comes the following extract

      "The Honeywell Metropolis Works facility in Metropolis, Illinois has reported another leak of Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6), a radioactive and toxic chemical compound, produced at the facility which converts uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride for the production of nuclear fuel for nuclear power facilities. The incident occurred on Sunday, Oct. 26th at about 8 p.m., and lasted through the night"

      Uranium ore is not depleted uranium.
      If they were using DEPLETED uranium there for conversion to Uranium Hexafloride then it was not uranium ore that was being prepared for nuclear reactors.

      Depleted uranium has already been through the nuclear process.

      However, perhaps, they are using both for conversion to uranium hexafluroide.

      • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

        @Angela_R
        I am not sure why you are mentioning Depleated Uranium (DU). I and the press release do not make any claims about DU.

        Uranium Ore is milled into "yellowcake" and the Honeywell facility converts the yellowcake into the Uranium Hexafluoride. The press release could have said converts "yellowcake" into uranium hexafluoride then it would have had to explain that yellowcake comes from milled uranium ore.

        • Angela_R

          Hi enoughalready, you query
          "I am not sure why you are mentioning Depleated Uranium (DU). I and the press release do not make any claims about DU"

          in Ontological post @ 11.57pm he mentions depleted uranium and supplies this link: http://web.evs.anl.gov/uranium/guide/uf6/propertiesuf6/index.cfm
          A click on depleted uranium bought up the following excerpt:

          "Depleted UF6

          Any uranium compound (e.g., UF6, UF4, U3O8) can contain "enriched" or "depleted" uranium. Because the enrichment process used in the United States utilizes uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the depleted uranium product produced is depleted uranium hexafluoride (depleted UF6). Management of DOE's inventory of depleted UF6 is the responsibility of the DUF6 Management Program."

          It appears that in the US, it is not just uranium ore that is used in the enrichment process. So it appears an omission has been made in the Press announcement.

          • Angela_R

            correction: may have been made, not 'has been made'

            however, it is to be hoped that advice is provided when supplying material for reactors, re any use of depleted uranium in uranium hexafloride.

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  • Dana Update 10-29-2014
    Honeywell Uranium 235 – 238 Processing Plant Radioactive Nightmare
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yOK2XmAGyY

    Fukushima Business Cards 4 U! And everyone else, too!
    http://tinyurl.com/fukushimabusinesscard4u

    These nifty cards are easy to print and pass out.
    Or leave randomly, where ever you please. Distribute liberally.
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  • AirSepTech AirSepTech

    The miracle of science at work.

    "If depleted uranium instead of silicon was used in the fabrication of semiconductors, it would consume the annual production rate of depleted uranium from uranium enrichment facilities"

    http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/uses/semiconductors/index.cfm

  • SadieDog

    We're college students running Honeywell plant ? UPDATE,
    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/99683

    • SadieDog

      "In addition, Robin McDaniels, a representative of Massac Memorial Hospital, has confirmed that ten or eleven people arrived at the hospital Sunday evening for uranium exposure testing. They came from a nearby plant and tested "negative."  Under law, the spokesperson could not release whether any of the individuals sustained an injury. The hospital called in additional employees to cope with potential emergency conditions. She declined to discuss additional individuals brought to the hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

      A union source indicated that workers at Cook County Coal in Metropolis "got exposed to the release" A guard passed out and hit his head at the Coal company. Other workers complained of hurting and burning throats. As late as Tuesday, some Cook Coal workers still complained of "burning throats."

    • SadieDog

      "Gaylon Hayden, a Paducah resident, reiterated,  that at least one  union member before the lock out   "trained two young ladies that were in engineering school.  I have been told they all are young and were book trained, however never ran units until lockout.  They [were] winging it."

      These students carried their books and studied feverishly in the lunchroom. They had no prior experience operating a nuclear plant."

      • Good grief!!! (And thanks SadieDog) Probably reflects what we see going on at a lot of places lately. Even in grocery stores…left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing…experienced people get replaced with new ones that can't even count back change. Talk about microcosm, macrocosm. Ergh.

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2014/20141104en.html#top
    Read the event details and see what is wrong with this picture[?] A worker who "slipped & fell in a gravel area injuring his hand & knee" indicates somebody slipped,fell & landed on their hand & knee.
    Why then would their contamination be limited to the "upper,back of their work-issued coveralls"??!! Slipped & fell in a gravel area running away from UF-6 still spewing from a facility otherwise slipping quietly back into obscurity aside from this "suspiciously-interesting" NRC event report buried on the bottom of 11/04/14 NRC incident report??!! Their "Honeywell" isn't such a sweet place to work or live near after all[?]….

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    Updated press release on Honeywell incident.

    Dangerous Uranium Hexafluoride Leak Worse Than Initially Reported, Regulator Says

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

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