EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a regular summary
of operations at DOE’s Idaho Site. It has been compiled
in response to a request from stakeholders for more
information on health, safety and environmental
incidents at DOE facilities in Idaho. It also includes a
brief summary of accomplishments at the laboratory. The
report is broken down by contractor:
Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP),
Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP)
Idaho National Laboratory (INL). This summary will
be sent to everyone on INL’s regular news release
distribution list every other week. To be added to this
distribution list, please call Brad Bugger at (208)
Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project
No incidents to report.
Waste Shipments: Through June 6, 2009, a total of
28,167 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste, 85.37
cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and
912 cubic meters of previously-buried transuranic waste
have been shipped from Idaho to the Waste Isolation
Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal.
Idaho Cleanup Project
May 27: While in the process of transferring a spent
fuel cask at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and
Engineering Center, a fuel handler noted the movement of
a crane that was out of sequence with procedure. The
crane lifting yoke was placed back in its stand, and the
plant shift manager suspended further activities pending
the completion of a fact finding meeting.
June 2: CWI staff noted that roof purlins at WMF-698
were detached or distorted. Access to the building was
restricted and engineering contacted the manufacturer,
who recommends installing new roof purlins and
re-configuring the cross bracing.
June 10: The Emergency Communications Systems at the
Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center failed
when the shift manager attempted to make a voice paging
announcement about a severe weather warning. Fuel
handling, process transfers and radiological work were
suspended. Troubleshooting on the communications systems
was initiated to determine the source of the failure.
Buried Waste Retrieval: Waste processing operations
at the Accelerated Retrieval Project produced 184 drums
of waste for the week ending June 5. The waste is former
buried waste that is processed for off-site disposal.
Workers sort recovered buried waste at the
Accelerated Retrieval Project.
Idaho National Laboratory
June 9: An operator at the Advanced Test Reactor
noted power variations in one of the reactor’s
experimental lobes. After consulting with ATR
engineering and verifying the indications were
from a failure of the instrumentation system,
the ATR shift supervisor declared the
instrumentation system inoperable, and initiated
limiting conditions on reactor operations. The
indication problem was corrected and the
limiting condition on reactor operations was
removed the same day. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2009-0013).
June 10: While offloading an 8,700-pound piece of
equipment from a truck bed with an overhead crane at the
Specific Manufacturing Capability facility, a sling used
in the rigging failed and the load dropped two inches.
The suspended load was set back onto the transport
trailer and secured, and the crane was tagged out of
service for inspection of possible damage. An
investigation of the sling failure found that a
commercially available wear protection pad was not
adequate. All similar wear protection pads have been
removed from service. (NE-ID-BEA-SMC-2009-0006)
Waste Energy Recovery Research: Researchers from the
Idaho National Laboratory and GE Global Research
recently kicked off a two-year partnership to capture
energy from waste heat. The INL partnership will examine
GE’s proprietary technology that captures energy from
industrial engines that are often only 35 percent
The joint GE-INL research team.