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. 16: A required survey detected radioactive
contamination on three support pallets during waste
loading processes at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment
Facility. No contamination has been found on any of the
waste containers in the area. A contamination area and
buffer area was established and other surveys taken of
the area. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0010).
Aug. 18: During routine surveillance on the Real Time
Radiography machine at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Unit, an unacceptably high radiation rate was
identified during testing. The machine was placed in
suspension until additional shielding can be installed.
Waste Shipments: As of Aug. 20, 2011, a total of
36,254 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic
waste, 106.72 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic
waste, and 4,669 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
Aug. 9: It was determined that spent nuclear fuel
configuration stored at INTEC 603did not comply with a
revised safety document, although it was in full safety
compliance when it was received in 2004. A criticality
safety engineer determined that no criticality safety
limits had been challenged by the configuration,
however, and no relocation of the fuel is necessary.
Aug. 11: A forklift vendor representative performed
work on the forklift batteries and charging station
located at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit without
authorization. The vendor was asked to visually inspect
the batteries and determine if work was to be performed.
Instead, the vendor rep found the batteries to be nearly
empty and filled them up with tap water. The battery
charger was taken out of service and notifications were
made to management. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2011-0011).
Aug. 13: A worker punctured the middle knuckle on his
left hand while using an electric shear to size a
50-gallon stainless steel drum at the Materials and
Fuels Complex. The worker was taken to a local hospital
for medical evaluation, and all work on stainless steel
drums was suspended pending further evaluation.
Aug. 18: Workers failed to follow proper procedures
in carrying out two work orders at the Integrated Waste
Treatment Unit. In one instance, a hosting and rigging
inspector inspected a cable without the work order being
signed off, and without the necessary briefing and lock
out-tag-outs in place. In the other instance, a work
crew carried out a work order without the required
pre-job briefing and lock-out/tag-out evaluation. Both
work orders were placed on hold and the associated
systems put in a safe configuration.
Aug. 22: A quality control inspector found
indications that a circuit breaker designed for use on a
high pressure breathing air system at the Radioactive
Waste Management Complex may be counterfeit or suspect.
The part was removed from the field for further
Mass Detonation Bunker Remediation Competed: The
Idaho Cleanup Project recently completed remediation of
the Mass Detonation Area bunker. A total of 16 cans of
1940s smokeless powder were found and will be disposed
by detonation after it snows enough to reduce the range
fire danger. Visual survey of the 796 acre area will
continue for about four weeks.
Idaho National Laboratory
Aug. 11: New information was developed in an analysis
of the uncertainty of the Water Power Calculator (WPC)
system at the Advanced Test Reactor when thermal
quadrant powers are greater than 47 megawatts. This is
caused by potential mixing of flow between quadrants
that may introduce more uncertainty into the WPC
quadrant power calculation. Quadrant thermal power is an
important parameter because it is used as a check to
verify that the Lobe Power Calculation and Indication
System are indicating within an acceptable range of the
true lobe power. Lobe Power is the parameter by which
the reactor operators adjust the power of the reactor to
ensure that the effective plate power limits are not
exceeded. At the time of the discovery the reactor was
shut down. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2011-0012).
Aug. 18: The Advanced Test Reactor documented safety
analysis classifies diesel generator 674-M-6 as Seismic
Category I, safety-related equipment. The accident
analysis credits 674-M-6 as supplying power to safety
related loads to ensure a complete loss of coolant flow
is a beyond design basis event. Surveillance activities
are required to ensure that safety related equipment is
operable to ensure safe operation. Operability and
surveillance requirements, however, are not documented
in the safety basis documents. Operability of 674-M-6
was being properly confirmed. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2011-0013).
Aug. 23: A wildland fire occurred along Highway 33
that burned on both Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land on Aug. 22. INL,
BLM and Butte County firefighters responded and the fire
was declared out in approximately 3.5 hours.
Aug. 23: The Neutron Radiography Reactor had an
unplanned shutdown due to an improver valve lineup. A
critique was held and further reactor operations were
put on hold pending closure of corrective actions and
approval by the Operational Safety Board.
New Reactor Shuttle System Used for First Time: A new
shuttle system is changing the way experiment specimens
are handled at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). The
newly-installed hydraulic shuttle irradiation system (HSIS)
was successfully used for the first time for an ATR
National Scientific User Facility irradiation experiment
for University of Illinois researchers. The hydraulic
shuttle system (or “rabbit”) adds another capability to
ATR and allows for flexible irradiation test periods.