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. 13: While digging a hole for a fence post at the
Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, a water line
was ruptured. A concern was raised that an accompanying
heat trace may have been damaged. A 120 volt heat trace
was found in the area and, although it was not damaged,
its discovery resulted in the categorization of the
event as the unexpected discovery of an uncontrolled
hazardous energy source. All work was stopped after the
leak occurred, and the water line was isolated. The fact
that facility drawings were inadequate to identify
underground utilities in the area was entered into the
issues tracking system for resolution.
Feb. 16: Maintenance work involving a boroscope
inspection of a vacuum hose at the Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Facility was conducted without the required
lockout/tagout. Management was notified and a review of
the event was conducted. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-23012-0007).
Feb. 16: A lockout/tagout procedure was violated
during maintenance work in a contaminated cell at the
Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. Maintenance
activities in the cell were stopped, management was
notified and review of the event was conducted.
Waste Shipments: Two shipments of transuranic waste
were made from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
in New Mexico during the week ending Feb. 25. Another
six shipments were made through March 1, with six more
shipments planned by the end of the week of March 3.
Idaho Cleanup Project
Nothing to report.
Buried Waste Update: Waste processing operations
continue in the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) VII
with processing of drums in Airlocks 2 and 6 at the
Idaho Cleanup Project. Seven drums were processed
through the Drum Packaging Station and five were shipped
to the Central Characterization Project during the past
week. Exhumations continue to find only small areas of
Idaho National Laboratory
Feb. 20: Storage rules were not followed for nuclear
material at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility. More
specifically, spent fuel elements were incorrectly
loaded into a storage rack. While the total amount of
nuclear material in the facility was below safety
standards, the rack was not approved for storage of this
particular material. Nuclear materials transfers at the
facility were halted until a review of the event was
completed and corrective actions taken.
Feb. 20: During routine preventative maintenance
while the Advanced Test Reactor was in a maintenance
shutdown condition, it was determined that tubing used
in backup plant monitoring equipment was leaking. The
tube was replaced during the maintenance shutdown.
Feb. 27: While performing routine maintenance during
the shutdown of the Advanced Test Reactor, the position
alarm on the Firewater Injector System valve failed to
actuate as expected. Management was notified and
corrective action was taken. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0005).
Feb. 27: The crash bar on a confinement door at the
Advanced Test Reactor was found broken. The ATR was not
in operation at the time, and confinement was not
required. The door was repaired the same day.
Lab Perfects Decontamination Process Using Foam:
Radioactive contamination can be difficult to remediate.
Removing contamination from complex surfaces such as
brick or concrete can be costly, inefficient and
hazardous. But a new approach developed at Idaho
National Laboratory is changing that.
In that approach a foam can be used alone or in
conjunction with specialized clay to pull contamination
off surfaces more effectively than previous methods. The
new approach minimizes cost, waste volume and worker
exposure. It has been commercially licensed by
Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI), as Rad-Release
Chemical Decontamination Technology, or simply Rad-Release.