Asse II, corruption, dangers of nuclear, David Cote, environment, German nuclear waste, German Nuclear Waste South Carolina, German Nuclear Waste USA, heavy metals, Honeywell, Honeywell International Inc., kidney damage, Metropolis Illinois, need for campaign finance reform, nuclear accident, nuclear safety, Nuclear Safety Violations, OSHA< NRC, President Obama, Savannah River Site, UF6, union, United Steelworkers union, uranium conversion, uranium hexafluoride, uranium hexafluoride leak, US Congress, USW, victimization, WIPP, worker pensions, worker rights, worker safety
The nuclear industry pollutes and leaves victims in its wake with uranium mining, and nuclear reactors leaking legally and illegally (on purpose and not on purpose; minor and major accidents). And then there is the waste, which no one wants because, they know that it will not be properly watched and monitored for perpetuity, as it needs to be. It is clear that nuclear is a filthy, dangerous way to make energy, in stark contrast to its PR campaigns.
BUT there is more: Workers and the environment are victimized in the wake of the “conversion process” and of the “enrichment process”. There is also the “milling” process. If few think of or know about the “enrichment process”, even fewer know of the “conversion process” necessary before enrichment. Anyone who ever took a chemistry class sees instantly that this is some dangerous, nasty stuff:
“After the yellowcake is produced at the mill, the next step is conversion into pure uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas suitable for use in enrichment operations. During this conversion, impurities are removed and the uranium is combined with fluorine to create the UF6 gas. The UF6 is then pressurized and cooled to a liquid. In its liquid state it is drained into 14-ton cylinders where it solidifies after cooling for approximately five days. The UF6 cyclinder, in the solid form, is then shipped to an enrichment plant. UF6 is the only uranium compound that exists as a gas at a suitable temperature. One conversion plant is operating in the United States: Honeywell International Inc. (Docket No. 40-3392) in Metropolis, Illinois. Canada, France, United Kingdom, China, and Russia also have conversion plants. As with mining and milling, the primary risks associated with conversion are chemical and radiological. Strong acids and alkalis are used in the conversion process, which involves converting the yellowcake (uranium oxide) powder to very soluble forms, leading to possible inhalation of uranium. In addition, conversion produces extremely corrosive chemicals that could cause fire and explosion hazards.” (Emphasis added) http://www.nrc. gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/ur-conversion.html
“… if UF6 is released to the atmosphere, the uranium compounds and HF that are formed by reaction with moisture in the air can be chemically toxic. Uranium is a heavy metal that, in addition to being radioactive, can have toxic chemical effects (primarily on the kidneys) if it enters the bloodstream by means of ingestion or inhalation. HF is an extremely corrosive gas that can damage the lungs and cause death if inhaled at high enough concentrations.” http://web.evs. anl. gov /uranium /guide/uf6/health/index.cfm
Kidney disease is not something that you want to have, and good health care coverage is of critical importance, if you have it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_kidney_disease
David Cote has been CEO of Honeywell since 2002. Though a Republican, he is said to be close to President Obama. Obama selected him to be on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, advising on the US debt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M._Cote Cote was recently elected to the New York Federal Reserve’s Board of Directors. http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/aboutthefed/2014/oa140307.html
Obama was a top recipient of Honeywell largesse, having received $93,496 in campaign donations from Honeywell (including employees, their family members, and its PAC). http://influenceexplorer.com/organization/honeywell-international/2d625ce311ff4aa091ae66f440c2a62f For more on Honeywell campaign donations and members of the US Congress, who own Honeywell stock, see: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000334
Honeywell is one of the contractors at the Savannah River Site, as part of the “Savannah River Nuclear Solutions” consortium: http://www.srs. gov/general/news/factsheets/srs.pdf
Currently, the only logical hypothesis, that we can put forth, as to why President Obama is trying to take High Level Radioactive Waste from Germany and dump it on the people of South Carolina, is that it has something to do with Honeywell, David Cote and their relationship with Obama and the Savannah River site. Unless it’s because Obama wants to be a big-shot and pretend the US has more technical know-how to deal with nuclear waste than Germany, whereas Germany and the US have both shown themselves gross failures in dealing with nuclear waste – one has only to look at US WIPP and the aptly named German Asse II. (We don’t mean a donkey, when we say aptly.) Some Savannah River nuclear waste was sent to the failed WIPP dump.
Doesn’t Honeywell have enough business with Hepa Air filters for the home without adding to the pollution and bad things? No. Rather, it seems that they sold that to another company and kept the bad stuff! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell Isn’t $37 million plus enough money for Cote to keep to the side? It seems not. They prefer the death industry to life. Pretty scary. According to wikipedia, Honeywell has produced cluster bombs, missile guidance systems, napalm, and land mines. It helps to run the plant that “assembles all of the nuclear bombs in the United States arsenal“. It operates the plant which “produces and assembles 85 percent of the non-nuclear components of the bombs…,” for over 50 years. It appears to have a lamentable environmental track record. Read the complete excerpt at the bottom of our post or read the entire article and see references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell
While trying to screw retirees out of their health care and pensions at the Honeywell Uranium “Conversion”, i.e. Uranium Hexafluoride Plant, in Metropolis, Illinois and locking out unionized workers, for 13 months (see: http://usw7-669.com/story/june-archive), Cote himself was making an estimated $37 million (2011) and Honeywell paid “a 2 percent tax rate between 2008 and 2011, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, while receiving $1.7 billion in tax subsidies“. Cote “has said that the corporate tax rate should be zero.” (Garofalo, Pat, “Super Wealthy CEO Admits Spending Cuts Will Hurt The Economy, Wants Them To Happen Anyway” (2013 Feb. 7) http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/02/07/1557261/honeywell-ceo-cut-spending/
As we have seen, the workers really need good health-care and pensions in case of damage to kidneys and lungs, as well as risk of cancer.
Recall that Cote became CEO in July of 2002, so this was on his watch that there was a uranium hexafluoride release:
“NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 40-3392/2004-003, HONEYWELL SPECIALTY CHEMICALS)
Excerpt: “…circumstances surrounding the December 22, 2003, release of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and subsequent declaration of a Site Area Emergency.” Not only was there a release of uranium hexafluoride which, we learned above, can damage kidneys, lungs, and cause death, but there was a “failure to implement multiple aspects of” the Honeywell “emergency response plan, which resulted in the failure to implement an emergency planning standard involving assessment or notification. Due to these failures, communications with local emergency responders were not adequately maintained and did not provide sufficient, additional information that would have assisted the local authorities in their response decisions“. (Find complete notice here:
http://adams. nrc.gov/wba/download It is necessary to do a search. )
A decade later:
“Honeywell blocks Union’s participation in Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Mon, 11/04/2013 – 5:39pm
Metropolis, IL– Defying federal law providing such rights, Honeywell today blocked participation by a Union Representative in an active NRC inspection at the company’s Metropolis, Illinois plant.
This violation of the law is identical to the February 2011 incident when Honeywell refused to allow a walk-around representative to accompany OSHA inspectors in the facility. The result was an order by a Federal Judge confirming the Union’s rights. Honeywell defied the same order and would not comply until a federal warrant was subsequently issued. With the assistance of the walk-around representative, 17 violations were uncovered and Honeywell received penalties in the amount of $119,000.00.” It is important to note that: “The Honeywell plant converts uranium to a form used to make nuclear fuels. In 2010 the company locked out the 228 local union members for 400 days in an effort to impose drastic cuts in benefits and limit union rights, including union participation in the safety program“. (Emphasis added) Read the entire article here: http://usw7-669.com/story/honeywell-blocks-union’s-participation-nuclear-regulatory-inspection
AND SO JUST WHAT WAS FOUND IN 2011?
“US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $119,000 in fines to Honeywell
International in Metropolis, Ill., for safety violations following vapor release
METROPOLIS, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Honeywell International Inc. with 17 serious safety violations for process safety management violations after its Metropolis processing plant experienced a release of hydrogen fluoride vapor. Proposed penalties total $119,000.
The incident occurred on Dec. 22, 2010. There were no reported injuries as a result of the incident, which was rectified by the company’s internal response team.
“Honeywell International has a responsibility to properly train its employees, and to strictly adhere to safety procedures and processes in all facilities,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “OSHA is committed to ensuring that all workers are provided a safe and healthful workplace.”
Honeywell International processes raw/mine-extracted uranium into uranium hexafluoride, which is used is for nuclear power generation applications. The company employs approximately 560 workers at the Metropolis facility.
An inspection was initiated under OSHA’s national emphasis program on facilities that could potentially release hazardous chemicals. Violations include allowing cylinders to be exposed to physical damage; having inaccurate field verifications on tanks and values; using equipment that was not in compliance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; failing to have clear written operating instructions for processes such as unloading hydrogen fluoride into storage tanks and switching storage tanks; failing to address human factors in relation to remote operating valves on the hydrogen fluoride storage tanks; failing to document and resolve issues addressed by the process hazard analysis team; failing to establish written procedures to maintain the integrity of process equipment; failing to implement written emergency operating procedures for emptying hydrogen fluoride tanks; failing to perform appropriate checks and inspections to ensure equipment was properly installed; and failing to establish and implement written procedures to manage changes to process chemicals, equipment and procedures. The company also was cited for a deficient incident report that did not include factors contributing to the vapor release and the recommendation resulting from the internal investigation.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission…
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov“.(Emphasis added) https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=20130
“Hydrogen fluoride is a highly dangerous gas, forming corrosive and penetrating hydrofluoric acid upon contact with tissue. The gas can also cause blindness by rapid destruction of the corneas…. Upon contact with moisture, including tissue, hydrogen fluoride immediately converts to hydrofluoric acid, which is highly corrosive and toxic, and requires immediate medical attention upon exposure. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels or in combination with skin contact can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_fluoride
Excerpt from Wikipedia about Honeywell:
“During and after the Vietnam Era, Honeywell’s defense division produced a number of products, including cluster bombs, missile guidance systems, napalm, and land mines.
In 1996, Honeywell acquired Duracraft and began marketing its products in the home comfort sector. Today, Kaz Incorporated owns both Duracraft and Honeywell’s home comfort lines.
Honeywell is in the consortium that runs the Pantex Plant that assembles all of the nuclear bombs in the United States arsenal. Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, successor to the defense products of AlliedSignal, operates the Kansas City Plant which produces and assembles 85 percent of the non-nuclear components of the bombs.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that no corporation has been linked to a greater number of Superfund toxic waste sites than has Honeywell.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell We were unable to confirm this last statement, as the link is dead. We find it difficult to believe, since Superfund is supposed to be for defunct corporations. Does this statement perhaps mean that they have bought-cleaned up Superfund sites? Regardless, suffice it to say that they appear to have a bad environmental track record and prefer death to life. The exception appears to be their reduction of mercury use. Now if only they would stop dealing in radionuclides and other death-giving things.
Wikipedia continues regarding Honeywell’s environmental trackrecord:
“Honeywell ranks 44th in a list of U.S. corporations most responsible for air pollution, releasing more than 4.25 million kg (9.4 million pounds) of toxins per year into the air. In 2001, Honeywell agreed to pay $150,000 in civil penalties and to perform $772,000 worth of reparations for environmental violations involving:
failure to prevent or repair leaks of hazardous organic pollutants into the air
failure to repair or report refrigeration equipment containing chlorofluorocarbons
inadequate reporting of benzene, ammonia, nitrogen oxide, dichlorodifluoromethane, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, and caprolactam emissions
In 2003, a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey ordered the company to perform an estimated $400 million environmental remediation of chromium waste, citing “a substantial risk of imminent damage to public health and safety and imminent and severe damage to the environment.” In the same year, Honeywell paid $3.6 million to avoid a federal trial regarding its responsibility for trichloroethylene contamination in Lisle, Illinois. In 2004, the State of New York announced that it would require Honeywell to complete an estimated $448 million cleanup of more than 74,000 kg (165,000 lbs) of mercury and other toxic waste dumped into Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY. In 2005, the state of New Jersey sued Honeywell, Occidental Petroleum, and PPG to compel cleanup of more than 100 sites contaminated with chromium, a metal linked to lung cancer, ulcers, and dermatitis. In 2008, the state of Arizona made a settlement with Honeywell to pay a $5 million fine and contribute $1 million to a local air-quality cleanup project, after allegations of breaking water-quality and hazardous-waste laws on hundreds of occasions between the years of 1974 and 2004.
In 2006, Honeywell announced that its decision to stop manufacturing mercury switches had resulted in reductions of more than 11,300 kg, 2800 kg, and 1500 kg respectively of mercury, lead, and chromic acid usage. The largest reduction represents 5% of mercury use in the United States. The EPA acknowledged Honeywell’s leadership in reducing mercury use through a 2006 National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) Achievement Award for discontinuing the manufacturing of mercury switches.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell (references at link)
UNLESS OBAMA OR MERKEL HURRY AND BACK DOWN FROM THE DUMPING OF GERMAN NUCLEAR WASTE AT SAVANNAH RIVER, USA, AND HONEYWELL DEALS PROPERLY WITH UPCOMING UNION CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AT METROPOLIS – MORE TO COME ON HONEYWELL! COTE IS JUST THE SORT OF FELLOW IT IS EASY TO DISLIKE.
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