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
Aug. 17: While performing a routine surveillance of
drum overpacking operations at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Facility, a manager noted that operators were
not following procedures in the prescribed sequence
because of problems with the Waste Tracking System data
entry. Drum overpacking operations were stopped and a
management review was held. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0019).
Aug. 27: A waste drum was dropped as it was being
moved on a forklift at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Facility as the forklift crossed over a floor
expansion joint, causing the drum to bounce up and fall.
No waste was released from the drum. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0021).
Aug. 27: While performing a quality assurance check
on a drum assay system at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Facility, an operator inserted check sources
into the wrong spots in waste drums, causing the system
to fail the check. A review of videotape of the
procedure identified the error, the sources were put in
the correct places and the assay system passed three
subsequent checks. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0020).
Waste Shipments: Eight of eight planned shipments of
contact-handled transuranic waste were made from Idaho
to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for
disposal for the week ending Sept. 4, 2010. Seven of the
shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated
Retrieval Project. Fifteen contact-handled transuranic
waste shipments and two remote-handled transuranic waste
shipments were scheduled for the week ending September
Idaho Cleanup Project
Nothing to report.
Recovery Act Activities: The Idaho Cleanup Project
completed in-situ grouting of mobile buried contaminants
with a total of 2,168 insertion points for grout
injection. The contractor exhumed 0.03 acres and
packaged 22 cubic meters of targeted buried waste.
Decontamination and Decommissioning crews completed all
work on the Tank Farm at the Idaho Nuclear Technology
and Engineering Center. Crews also completed
constructing containment for Test Reactor Area-603 Hot
Cell #3 waste removal activities.
Idaho National Laboratory
Aug. 26: An operator broke a bone in his foot while
accidentally kicking a wall as he descended a staircase
at the Radio-Chemistry Laboratory. Safety personnel
walked down the area to ensure it was safe for access.
Aug. 26: An air compressor at the Advanced Test Reactor
failed due to high temperatures likely caused by a loss
of cooling to the compressor. The cause is under
Aug. 26: An emergency diesel generator failed to start
during a planned maintenance electrical outage at the
Advanced Test Reactor. The electrical outage was
suspended until the situation could be remedied.
Aug. 27: A wildland fire occurred on the Idaho National
Laboratory near Highway 26. The INL Fire Department,
Bureau of Land Management and other fire agencies
responded, and the fire was contained on Aug. 28 after
burning 14,139 acres. No structural damage or injury to
personnel resulted. (NE-ID—BEA-CFA-2010-0004).
Sept. 8: A subcontractor driving a concrete truck came
into contact with and broke an overhead 120 volt power
line at the Materials and Fuels Complex. The driver
stopped and notified his escort, work was suspended and
the area barricaded until the line could be repaired.
Energy Secretary Visits INL: Energy Secretary Steven
Chu visited the Idaho National Laboratory on Sept. 13 to
speak to employees and the media, and tour INL
facilities and learn about laboratory programs. During
his speech to employees, Secretary Chu emphasized the
importance of dealing with global climate change and the
role of nuclear energy in helping to meet that
Secretary Chu answers questions from Idaho reporters Sept. 13 at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls.