Uranium Hexafluoride Ohio River Contamination Class Action Filed

Updated 25 weeks ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Uranium Hexafluoride Ohio River Contamination Class Action Filed

A class action federal lawsuit has been filed in Metropolis, Illinois, against Honeywell International for uranium hexafluoride (U6). 

The federal complaint alleges that "Exposure to this radioactive and toxic mixture in the environment through human pathways can cause grave bodily injury and has created a need for a mitigation/abatement program to protect the public from further risk of being harmed by Honeywell’s tortious contamination of their properties."

The suit explains that the contamination does not come from a "nuclear incident," but to " ongoing and continuous release of the indisputably hazardous, toxic and carcinogenic wastes at issue in this Petition."

According to allegations in the complaint, despite the presence of Russian nuclear weapons, radioactive testing did not detect any contamination of concern. During re-licensing by the NRC, the presence of plutonium was revealed. 

Honeywell's parent company provided an assessment sampling  of Dietz Hollow, which may contain burial materials with a long shelf life from the Huntington Pilot Plant , which recycled nuclear reactor materials and worked with a nickel carbonyl process. The plant was demolished as contaminated and buried, in part, at a classified site in Piketon, Ohio, on the grounds of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.  The assessment did not detect radioactive materials and/or no tests were conducted for radioactive materials. 

The Metropolis, Illinois, site sets on a space next to the Ohio River. 

"Honeywell, from at least 1963 until at least late 2017, operated the UF6 plant on the outskirts of Metropolis along the Ohio River. 19. Fifty-Five gallon drums, bolted shut and filled with powdered uranium ore from all over the world, would come to the UF6 plant where they would be emptied with an Case 3:18-cv-01124-MJR-SCW Document 1 Filed 05/16/18 Page 6 of 25 Page ID #6 7 automated “drum dumper.” Each time the drum dumper emptied a barrel, radioactive dust containing metals would be released into the air. 20. After the drums were dumped they were cleaned. Earlier in the plant’s history workers sandblasted the drums, which also released radioactive and metal-contaminated dust into the air. Later, a water cleaning method replaced sandblasting. Six-inch berms around a concrete cleaning pad contained the wastewater that then entered a series of drains leading to the UF6 plant’s wastewater treatment facility where, after moving through a single settling pond, the water was discharged into the Ohio River. In 2006, Honeywell pled guilty in federal court to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for discharging radioactive materials into the Ohio River."

 

 

You can read the class action lawsuit in full via PDF download. 

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