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
Feb. 15: A fiberglass waste box fell from the forks
of a forklift during waste handling operations at the
WMF-676 building. Surveys of the area showed no
radiological release and a fact-finding was initiated. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0001).
March 3: A bulge was discovered in a waste box at the
WMF-634 building, indicating a possible pressure
buildup. The area was roped off and posted, and a
fact-finding initiated. After the waste box acclimated
to warmer temperatures, it returned to its original
March 3: While performing an assessment of the
lockout-tagout program at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Facility, a facility representative discovered
that a worker’s qualification had lapsed six days before
he performed safe-to-work checks, independent
verification and work group acceptance. Since this
occurred improvements have been made in the lockout-tagout
process, including a check of worker qualifications to
verify they are current. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0003).
Waste Shipments: As of Feb. 28, 2011, a total of
34,776 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic
waste, 99.27 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic
waste, and 3,744 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
Nothing to report.
Passivated Sodium Treated: The passivated sodium in
the lines that ran from the Experimental Breeder
Reactor-II reactor building to the sodium boiler
building were successfully treated last week as part of
the ongoing decontamination and decommissioning of the
EBR-II facility. This was the first time passivated
sodium has ever been treated in the field. Crews will be
working around the clock for the next several months to
complete treatment of the remaining passivated sodium.
Idaho National Laboratory
February 16: A subcontractor forgot to remove his
personal key from his lock that had installed on a
lockout-tagout box, as required by procedure, while
working at the Materials and Fuels Complex. The key was
removed by another employee and later returned to him.
Work was suspended and a critique of the incident was
Feb. 17: While digging a new sewer line at the
Materials and Fuels Complex, a subcontractor severed a
pipe that provides argon to the facility. The argon line
was isolated at the supply manifold, and an
investigation was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-0003).
Feb. 22: A DOE employee determined that a drum lift
attachment installed on a forklift at the Specific
Manufacturing Capability warehouse was not specifically
listed on the forklift data placard, as required. It was
determined that training on the use of data plates and
procedures on fork lifting activities were inadequate.
An order was issued restricting the use of all forklift
attachments without proper approval, and investigation
was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0002).
Feb. 23: The tritium monitor in a laboratory at the
Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility alarmed.
Workers evacuated the facility and a radiological
control technician was contacted. Within minutes of the
alarm, the tritium concentrations in the room returned
to a pre-event level. The cause of the tritium alarm is
under investigation, and bioassay samples were collected
from the workers in the room.
March 3: While inspecting an incoming shipping
container at the Specific Manufacturing Capability
facility, two ratchet tie-down straps were identified
with two suspect/counterfeit bolts. The bolts were
removed from the straps and placed in bonded storage for
disposal, and the straps were destroyed.
March 7: An inspection of piping systems at facility
in Idaho Falls revealed that iron pipe nipples were of
suspect origin. All installed pipe nipples of suspect
origin were replaced with compliant materials.
Energy Efficiency: The Center for Advanced Energy
Studies at Idaho National Laboratory is spearheading a
new statewide research program to help make buildings,
homes and industrial systems more energy efficient. The
CAES-led Energy Efficiency Research Initiative will
evaluate energy-saving technologies currently on the
market to see how well they work. The initiative will
also study consumer behavior to determine which
technologies people like best and what motivates them to