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METROPOLIS, Ill. — Honeywell says it is idling its plant in the southern Illinois city of Metropolis and reducing the workforce by 170 employees along with contractor positions.

The Honeywell Metropolis Works Facility converts uranium into uranium hexafluoride, which is used to produce enriched uranium for fuel in nuclear power plants. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the company says there is currently an oversupply of uranium hexafluoride in the worldwide nuclear industry.

The company says that is leading it to temporarily idle production in Metropolis but it will maintain minimal operations in case business conditions improve and production at the facility can be restarted. Honeywell said it will "actively monitor market conditions to determine optimal conditions to support restart."

Metropolis is about 150 miles southeast of St. Louis.

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Central Illinois Editor

Central Illinois editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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