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
June 15: While retrieving waste at the Advanced Mixed
Waste Treatment Project, workers discovered a waste bin
that was labeled as potentially containing unexploded
ordnance. Previous information about the container
indicated it probably did not contain unexploded
ordnance, but because of the labeling, that information
was not considered definitive. An exclusion zone was
established around the container, using guidance from
INL explosives experts. Additional information is being
gathered to definitively determine the contents of the
June 24: During an inspection a leak was detected in
a waste bin at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment
Project. A survey detected minor levels of radioactive
contamination in the area. The area around the bin was
roped off and decontaminated.
June 25: A waste handling operator was struck in the
head and arm by a trailer stanchion while loading waste
boxes on a trailer for shipment. The operator was
evaluated and treated by a nurse on site and was
released with no work restrictions. An investigation was
initiated into the cause of the accident.
June 25: A fact-finding review determined that three
different safety-related incidents over the previous
month at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project
constituted a management concern. The incidents
included: a backstop on the forks of a forklift struck a
fire sprinkler pipe; a forklift hit a roll-up guide rail
and the handle of a fire water system valve; and an
excavator boom hit the propped open door of an
excavator, causing damage. All supervisors were directed
to remind their crews about the need for proper training
and to be more aware of their surroundings in their work
Waste Shipments: Through June 27, 2009, a total of
28,496 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste,
85.37cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste,
and 1,026 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
June 29: An equipment operator noted the improper
assembly of wire rope components on a mobile crane
during a daily pre-use inspection at the Advanced Test
Reactor Complex. Other suspect/counterfeit wire clamps
were also noted.
This crane was tagged out of service
and further mobile crane inspections discovered
suspect/counterfeit components. These cranes were also
tagged out of service. (EM-ID-CWI-BIC-2009-0002).
CWI President John Fulton greets new employees.
Stimulus-Funded Ramp-Up: Over a hundred new faces
have already joined the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP)
workforce, both in offices and at work sites across
DOE’s Idaho Site. The ICP is ramping up its workforce to
complete new work scope assigned to the ICP under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Idaho National Laboratory
June 16: An operator entered into a confined space –
a burn chamber in an incinerator -- without the required
confined space work permit at the Specific Manufacturing
Capability Project. The incinerator was tagged out of
service and operations curtailed until procedures and
training are revised. (NE-ID-BEA-SMC-2009-0007).
June 16: Operators at the Advanced Test Reactor
received a positive pressure alarm. An investigation
determined that a confinement door was open due to a
loose and a missing screw in the closure mechanism. The
closure mechanism was repaired, management notifications
were made and an investigation is underway.
June 17: During a review to evaluate installation of
water heater piping in Central Facilities Area Building
696, discrepancies in safe work planning and execution
were noted. There were no injuries or facility damage.
One worker’s qualifications have been suspended until
the completion of an investigation.
June 24: A bulging 55-gallon drum of microbiocide was
discovered at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex’s
chemical storage area. The area was isolated and a
hazardous materials team successfully vented the drum.
June 25: Two safety professionals noted that
electricians who were working on a catwalk at the Hot
Fuel Examination Facility without the required fall
protection. It was later discovered the fall prevention
analysis was inadequate. All access to the catwalk was
stopped until a critique was performed and the fall
protection could be reanalyzed.
July 1: During fabrication of spent nuclear fuel
storage boxes at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex,
cracks were found in the corners of stainless steel
structural square tubing. All work on the fuel storage
boxes was stopped and a cause analysis is in progress.
ATR National User Facility “User’s Week”: The Idaho
National Laboratory recently hosted students and faculty
from across the nation, representatives from industry
and other experts in nuclear power as part of the
Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User
Facility’s “User’s Week” activities.
Users Week attendees gather at Idaho Falls’ University Place recently.