DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period September 28 to October 18, 2010

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) and 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) 526-0833.

Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

Oct. 12: During routine maintenance and testing of a real-time radiography machine at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, a stream of radiation was detected coming out of the roof of the machine. The machine was shut down until the cause of the stream can be determined and corrected. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0023).   

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Nineteen shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were made from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for the week ending October 9, 2010. Seventeen of the shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated Retrieval Project. Eighteen contact-handled transuranic waste shipments and no remote-handled transuranic waste shipments were scheduled for the week ending October 16, 2010.  

Idaho Cleanup Project

Oct. 5: During the process of hanging a 7,800-pound shield door at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit construction site, the gantry crane and shield door tipped over. No one was injured, but all work in the area was stopped and a fact-finding meeting held to determine the cause of the incident. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2010-0009). 

Operational Summary

Buried Waste Exhumation: Progress continues on the construction of two Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) facilities located on the Subsurface Disposal Area. At ARP-VI (Pit 4 West), the inner liner and false ceiling installations continue and the main steel structure installations and canopy installations are complete. At ARP-VII (Pit 10 West), North Wind Services, LLC was selected as the small business to procure and build the ARP -VII Retrieval Enclosure and Air Lock building. At ARP V (Pit 9), systems turnover to operations from construction are continuing in preparation for the contractor Management Self Assessment in November. Targeted waste exhumations are scheduled to start December 2010.

Idaho National Laboratory

Sept. 30: While riding in an elevator in the Engineering and Research Office Building, a worker received a minor shock from the elevator control panels. He notified building management and an electrician found 110 volts passing between the control panels. The elevator was taken out of service, the cause of the current was discovered and corrected. (NE-ID—BEA-STC-2010-0005).

Sept. 30: While preparing to fix an air leak on a seal on the canal bulkhead for the spent nuclear fuel storage canal at the Advanced Test Reactor, it was determined that there may not be the appropriate seal in place between the bellows and the fuel storage section of the canal, as required by the current safety documentation. An investigation was initiated into the situation, and interim controls are in place to assure safety of the canal. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0018).

Oct. 4: During training at the Radioactive Scrap and Waste Facility, a crane was moved with its boom extended, creating an unsafe condition. After noticing this unsafe condition, the operator redeployed the outriggers and the boom was retracted and lowered to the approved movement height. Work in the area was halted with the equipment in a safe position. (NE-ID—BEA-TSD-2010-0004).

Oct. 7: It was discovered that a lab fume hood belt had been improperly replaced in IF-657 without proper work control documents and lockout/tagout. The fume hoods were checked for proper flow and a critique was held. (NE-ID—BEA-STC-2010-0006).

Oct. 11: A worker suffered a mild shock while installing new electrical equipment in the basement of the Materials and Fuels Complex 752 building. Work was stopped and an investigation into the cause of the shock was conducted. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2010-0007).

Oct. 14: The failure of an electronic breaker controller caused a coolant pump breaker to trip open, resulting in a lower reactor coolant flow and causing the Advanced Test Reactor to automatically shut down. Established reactor shutdown procedures were properly performed and the reactor was verified to be in a safe condition. The cause of the pump breaker trip is under investigation. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0019).

Oct. 14: An electrician at the Materials and Fuels Complex commenced work on equipment without first installing his personal lock and tag on the lockbox, a violation of company procedure. No one was injured or came in contact with energized circuits or equipment. The work was stopped and notifications made to appropriate management. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2010-0008).


Operational Summary

3-D Research: The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is home to a new 3-D computer-assisted virtual environment — or CAVETM — that allows researchers to literally walk into their data and examine it. Such a tool brings data to life, akin to being able to feed blueprints into a computer and then walk around the virtual house. CAES is the only facility in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming with a CAVE of this kind. Since its installation, the CAVE has been used by scientists and engineers working on a variety of projects, including storing carbon dioxide underground, and by teams to train Advanced Test Reactor staff, orient subcontractors, and consider new designs.

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls is the only facility in Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming with a CAVE of this kind, which one team is using to map geographic information.

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated October 21, 2010

Contact Shannon Brennan