DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period October 18 to November 7, 2011

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. 24: A technician at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project suffered a puncture wound to his hand when a wood splinter penetrated his work glove. No radiological contamination was detected and the technician was treated at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where the sliver was removed. After a few weeks, the technician continued to have numbness in his hand, and surgery was performed to repair a damaged nerve. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0012).

Nov. 3: It was discovered that a number of workers at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project had not completed the refresher training course on alternative methods for hazardous energy control, as required by procedure. Work using alternative methods was suspended and personnel were required to complete the refresher training prior to entry into areas where alternative methods would be used. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2011-0013).

Operational Summary

Through Oct. 31, 2011, a total of 36,742 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste, 106.72 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste and 5,021 cubic meters of previously buried transuranic waste have been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal.


Idaho Cleanup Project

Oct. 20: A worker at the Technical Support Annex Classroom G received a mile shock when he reached into a desk lamp housing to tighten the light bulb, unaware that the light bulb was broken and the elements exposed. He was examined at the Willow Creek Building medical facility and no burns or other effects were found. The lamp was taken out of service and other lamps were checked for functionality; those in question were removed from service. (EM-ID—CWI-LANDLORD-2011-0001).

Oct. 20: A small piece of radiologically-contaminated foam debris was found by decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) workers during cleanup of debris from the roadside and drainage ditches north and east of TRA-604. CWI determined the contaminated debris probably came from past D&D activities. Surveys were taken and no other contamination was found in the area. (EM-ID—CWI-BIC-2011-0007).

Oct. 28: Two decontamination and decommissioning workers at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex were contaminated with radiological particles as they processed out of a radiological work area. The particles were successfully removed from their skin and clothing, and properly disposed. The workers underwent whole body frisks and no further contamination was found. (EM-ID—CWI-BIC-2011-0008).   

Operational Summary

Buried Waste Exhumation Progress: For the week ending October 23, 2011, the Idaho Cleanup Project sent 48 drums of exhumed buried waste to Central Characterization Project and processed 55 drums of newly generated waste through the drum packaging stations. The exhumations in Accelerated Retrieval Project VI were completed and the exhumation area is now being backfilled.


Idaho National Laboratory

Oct. 19: During inspection of incoming empty shipping containers, two suspect/counterfeit bolts were identified on tie down straps. The bolts were removed and placed into bonded storage for disposal. The bolts were replaced with new, compliant bolts. (NE-ID—BEA—SMC-2011-0016).

Nov. 3: After removal of a sealed radioactive source from the Materials and Fuels Complex industrial wastewater life station monitor, contamination was discovered on the gloves of the technician performing the work. Contamination was also found on the source housing and below the monitor on the floor. The job was immediately stopped and surveys were performed and smears taken in the contaminated areas. They indicated no further spread of contamination. A management investigation was initiated and a critique held. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-0007).

Nov. 3: Radiological contamination was found on the boot of a worker who had been working in a high contamination area at the Fuel Conditioning Facility. The contaminated area of the boot was cut out and sent for analysis. The technician’s path from the contamination area was surveyed and no further contamination was discovered. A critique was conducted. (NE-ID—BEA-FCF-2011-0005).

Operational Summary

Helping Site Power Transmission Lines: Researchers with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) at Idaho National Laboratory are creating a new software program that merges public opinion about transmission lines with GIS technology. CAES is a research partnership among INL, Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho. Known as LineSiter, the program's goal is to reduce public friction over new transmission lines and the amount of time it takes for new routes to be approved and built.  

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated November 10, 2011

Contact Shannon Brennan