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
April 8: A worker assigned to review lock-out/tag out
compliance discovered that some maintenance work under
way on the Super Compactor Bagless Transfer Port at the
Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility was being
performed without the required safety checks. All work
involving lock-out/tag-outs was halted until it could be
confirmed that the required safety checks had been
Waste Shipments: Through March 27, 2010, a total of
32,031 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic
waste, 87.64 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic
waste, and 2,278 cubic meters of previously buried
transuranic waste were shipped from Idaho to the Waste
Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal.
Idaho Cleanup Project
April 12: A subcontractor working at the Integrated
Waste Treatment Unit construction site was struck by a
piece of falling sheetrock and rendered unconscious for
several minutes. The carpenter insisted he was all
right, returned to work and drove himself home after the
end of his shift. Later, the CWI industrial safety
director drove the carpenter from his home to an Idaho
Falls medical facility for a full medical evaluation. A
sheetrock work stand down was initiated. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2010-0002).
April 15: While excavating at the Idaho Nuclear
Technology and Engineering Center, a backhoe hooked an
underground conduit containing an electrical line,
pulling a section of the conduit out of the ground and
breaking the conductors inside. The conduit had not been
identified on a drawing or on the subsurface
investigation report. The crew stopped work and secured
the area, and an electrician secured the energized wire.
Decontamination and Decommissioning: Activities
continue at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering
Center. The exterior walls of CPP-601, the former
nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, are being removed,
the interior of CPP-602 is being stripped out and final
demolition of CPP-630 is underway. In addition, work
continues to remove excess buildings and structures at
the High-Level Waste Tank Farm.
Idaho National Laboratory
April 8: An operator at the Advanced Test Reactor
noted that the distribution breaker for the Plant
Protective System channel C battery charger had tripped
open. An attempt was made to reset the breaker, but it
immediately tripped open again. The system is not
required to be operable while the reactor is shut down,
and it was taken off-line. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0006).
April 12: An employee noted the presence of weathered
rubber hoses lying on the ground outside of Building
TRA-627 at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, and that
the hoses had apparently released oil into the ground.
The area was inspected and the presence of oil and
petroleum products was discovered. Environmental
personnel were notified, a cleanup planned and state
regulators notified. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0007).
Using Lasers for Cleanup: Lasers can do many things
for us, from scanning barcodes at the grocery checkout
to searching for life on the surface of Mars. And,
according to chemists at Idaho National Laboratory,
lasers might be able to help the nation respond in the
case of a possible chemical or radiological attack.
Lasers, the INL scientists say, could play a big cleanup
role. Lasers could help scrub chemical- or
radiation-contaminated buildings clean, returning life
to normal as safely and smoothly as possible.
INL chemists are demonstrating lasers’ potential to clean up
chemical or radiological contamination.