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
Jan. 5: During snow removal operations outside
building WMF-636, the bucket of a skid steer hit two
electrical cords that were on the ground and buried in
the snow. There were no injuries and no electrical shock
hazard. The damaged cords were disposed of and all snow
removal was stopped pending a critique of the event. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0001).
Waste Shipments: Through Jan. 16, 2010, 30,975 cubic
meters of stored transuranic waste, 85.37 cubic meters
of remote-handled transuranic waste and 2,251 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
Jan. 12: A portable battery charger was being used to
re-charge batteries on a crane at the Accelerated
Retrieval Project V construction site when one of the
batteries exploded, spreading battery acid and debris.
One worker received three first-degree burns to the
forehead from the acid. No other personnel were in the
area. The worker was treated at a medical dispensary and
returned to work with no restrictions. A “step back” was
initiated to prohibit the use of portable battery
chargers on construction projects at the Radioactive
Waste Management Complex. (EM-ID—CWI-RWMC-2010-0001).
Buried Waste Removal: Readiness assessments were
completed to begin exhuming buried waste at the
Accelerated Retrieval Project-IV site, and waste
exhumation is scheduled to begin this month.
Idaho National Laboratory
Jan. 7: During maintenance on a conveyor at the
Specific Manufacturing Capability project, the conveyor
tipped over, narrowly missing maintenance personnel who
were in the process of removing the conveyor to dislodge
material stuck within the belt. The area around the
fallen conveyor was roped off. All work orders will be
reviewed in the future by maintenance management to
ensure hoisting and rigging hazards are adequately
identified and mitigated. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2010-0001).
Jan. 12: The shift supervisor at the Advanced Test
Reactor entered into a limiting condition for operation
of the reactor when two instrument systems used to
calculate water flow in the reactor were declared out of
service. Limiting conditions for operation are a
Department of Energy approved method to ensure safety of
nuclear facilities while system performance is
evaluated. The shift supervisor used other data systems
to verify the safety of reactor operations while the
systems were repaired and returned to operation.
Nuclear Research: The INL’s Advanced Graphite Capsule
project will test over 2,000 different samples of
graphite in the INL’s Advanced Test Reactor over a
10-year period. The tests are part of work to certify
the graphite that is used in many parts of advanced
nuclear reactor designs.
Claren Woolstenhulme, Blaine Grover, Scott Barrie, Steve McClaskey,
and S. Eric Egan of the Advanced Graphite Capsule project team pose
near the top end of the capsule.