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
Waste retrieval resumes at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project.
April 11: Contamination was discovered on the shoe of
a technician who was exiting a contamination buffer area
at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. The
contamination was removed from his shoe and the area
surveyed to make sure there was no further
Waste Retrieval Resumes: Operations to retrieve the
estimated 6,900 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste
remaining at the Idaho site began the week of April 16
at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Mixed Waste
Treatment Project. Resumption of work comes after a
nearly two-year stoppage of retrieval operations.
Idaho Cleanup Project
An interior feed skid located
within the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit.
March 29: A suspect/counterfeit circuit breaker was
discovered at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit. The
breaker was removed and a nonconformance report issued.
The contractor for the Idaho Cleanup Project this
week initiated the controlled, phased startup of the
Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, a facility scheduled to
treat 900,000 gallons of radioactive liquid waste stored
in underground tanks at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and
Idaho National Laboratory
March 28: The Advanced Test Reactor was shut down due
to the potential that incorrect data had been submitted
for an experimental package that was being irradiated in
the reactor. The reactor remained shut down until
correct data was verified for the experiment.
April 3: Radioactive particles and debris were
discovered at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex. The
area was roped off to prevent access and particles were
transported to the Radiation Measurement Laboratory for
identification and proper disposal.
April 4: A worker at the Materials and Fuels Complex
suffered a minor leg injury when he was struck by a
spool of cable that rolled down a staircase when a
material handler lost control of a hand truck carrying
the cable. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2012-0004).
April 4: An operator at the Hot Fuels Examination
Facility was struck by a torque wrench that had fallen
off the back of a truck trailer. Work was halted and the
operator was taken to a medical facility for evaluation
and released. (NE-ID—BEA-HFEF-2012-0002).
April 10: During testing of a safety exhaust system
at the Fuel Conditioning Facility, the fan logic relay
failed to trip within the required time. The decision
was made to replace the relay.
April 17: A fire resulting from welding activities
was detected on the roof of the Analytical Laboratory at
the Materials and Fuels Complex. The Fire Department
extinguished the fire, there were no injuries and only
minor damage to the roof. (NE-ID—BEA-AL-2012-0002).
April 18: While performing hoisting and rigging
operations at the Hot Fuels Examination Facility, a load
shifted, causing a 3000-pound sliding door to disengage
from the shutter shield housing. The door fell
approximately 10 inches to the floor, about three feet
from one of the operators. No one was injured, all work
was stopped and equipment affected by the drop was
April 24: A radiological control technician stepped
on a temporary manhole cover that was dislodged causing
the employee’s leg to slip into the exposed hole. The
worker was taken to the Central Facilities Medical
Center for evaluation, and the manhole area was roped
off and posted. (NE-ID—BEA-RTC-2012-0002).
The Localized Electron Atom Probe (LEAP) at the Center for Advanced
Energy Studies has helped produce some of the clearest results ever
obtained for samples mimicking irradiated nuclear fuel.
Materials Studies: Work at the Idaho National
Laboratory is helping researchers understand factors
that may cause weaknesses in materials exposed to
prolonged radiation inside a nuclear reactor. Such
understanding drives development of new materials with
significantly improved performance, a core aspect of the
INL’s nuclear research mission.
That's why INL is leading efforts to adapt advanced
techniques such as the Localized Electron Atom Probe
(LEAP) for use on irradiated materials. In fact, the
Center for Advanced Energy Studies at INL is home to the
LEAP that has generated some of the clearest results
ever obtained for samples that mimic irradiated fuel.