US–based Honeywell said in a statement on 9 February that it has communicated to employees and officials its intent to reopen the Metropolis Works - the USA’s only uranium conversion facility. It aims to restart production of in early 2023.
Honeywell announced temporary suspension of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) production at the Metropolis Works in November 2017, citing falling demand.
“As the only domestic uranium conversion facility, Honeywell’s Metropolis Works facility has been an important national strategic asset, well-positioned to satisfy UF6 demand both in the US and abroad,” the company said.
To meet the 2023 production restart, Honeywell will hire 160 full-time employees as well as contractors by the end of next year, it said.
The Metropolis Works conversion facility is licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In 2012-13, the site was upgraded to comply with NRC’s post-Fukushima safety standards. In March 2020, the Metropolis Works plant received NRC approval to operate for 40 more years, until 2060.