March 27, 2015
The company is pleased that the union membership has ratified a new three-year contact. We believe it is a fair and equitable agreement that satisfies all of the company’s bargaining objectives. This includes terms that provide the plant with flexibility needed to sustain its economic viability.
Along with the new contract, the company and union have agreed on a plan on how union members will return to work over the next two months. This plan is needed, in part, to allow for retraining and recertification required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The plant is currently in a maintenance shutdown but will be returning to production on or about April 1. The plant will continue to be operated by trained and qualified salary and contingent workers until union members return to those positions.”
The following are some details on the contract:
– Wages will increase 2% percent each year over the term of the contract.
– Union employees will continue to participate in the company’s consumer-driven healthcare plan.
– The company gains the flexibility to use qualified contractors for maintenance work at the plant.
January 30, 2015
January 12, 2015
November 20, 2014
November 13, 2014
November 7, 2014
Today, we announced that we have made enhancements to our procedures based on a review of the response to the October 26 incident. These improvements include ensuring that our employees can view an incident from an expanded number of observation points when an emergency occurs. This will help us improve our ability to classify emergencies quickly and accurately. We have trained employees in these new procedures and will conduct emergency response drills early next week, culminating in a drill that will be monitored by the NRC and local emergency responders. We anticipate these enhancements will be recognized by the NRC in a Confirmatory Action Letter that will be issued soon.
As I have mentioned before, the leak was caused by a mechanical failure of a piece of equipment near the end of the production process. That equipment does not share a design with any other piece of equipment required to run the plant, and has been isolated from our production processes. The NRC has concluded, after its own independent inspection, that no detectable radioactive material was released from the site. Given the small amount of material leaked and its low concentrations, along with the activation of our safety systems, our community and employees were not at risk during this incident.
As we conduct safety drills in preparation for restarting our plant, I ask that you please continue to focus on doing your job safely at all times.
November 6, 2014
I am writing to provide you with an update on the investigation of the October 26 leak, including more details on what happened and how we responded to ensure the safety of our employees and the community.
The leak was caused by equipment failure in our main production building. From our examination of the equipment and knowledge of its capacity, we can verify that only a small amount of UF6 was leaked. The failure was mechanical in nature, and not the result of worker error or faulty installation. It was caused by a single piece of equipment that does not share a design with any other equipment in the plant.
During the incident, plant personnel activated emergency procedures and equipment, and the plant’s trained emergency teams responded to mitigate the leak. Given the small amount of material leaked and its low concentrations, along with the activation of our safety systems, our community was never at risk during this incident.
Based on preliminary results of the investigation to date and discussions with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, we have made changes to our emergency procedures that determine how plant incidents will be evaluated and classified going forward. We have also changed the classification of the incident from a “plant emergency” to an “alert.” The NRC is expected to confirm this change in a Confirmatory Action Letter soon.
Thanks for your continued hard work in support of the facility. Please remain focused on doing your job safely at all times.
October 28, 2014
I wanted to provide an update on Sunday evening’s event to ensure there are no misunderstandings that could result from several misleading reports and claims.
The site experienced an equipment failure in the main production building, which led to a leak of uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The plant’s emergency procedures were followed exactly as prescribed, including the engagement of our comprehensive safety systems. Among these were water cannons, which we used to contain the leak. The mist around the plant was harmless water vapor. Had any UF6 or hydrogen fluoride (HF) been present and triggered the sensors outside the operations area, alarms would have sounded and we would have evacuated the area.
Our top priority now is to understand exactly why the equipment failed and what steps we can take to prevent this type of scenario in the future. The investigation will be thorough, and we will remain in close contact with all relevant authorities, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
I would like to recognize the employees on shift that responded appropriately to the situation and followed all of our safety procedures correctly. To the rest of the workforce, thank you for your continuing efforts to operate this facility safely and effectively every day. We will share our learnings and answer questions as they arise. Additional information is posted on our website and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Please continue to work safely at all times.