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
Nothing to report.
Waste Shipments: Eight of eight planned shipments of
contact-handled transuranic waste were made to the Waste
Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for the week ending
May 5, 2012. Eight shipments of contact-handled
transuranic waste are scheduled for the week ending May
Idaho Cleanup Project
April 29: An operator at the Integrated Waste
Treatment Unit left the key in a personal lock when
hanging the lock and tag on the lockbox for a lockout/tagout.
Notifications were made and appropriate follow-up
actions were taken. All hazardous energy was properly
controlled using an approved lockout/tagout.
May 7: Two deficiencies were identified in the safety
analysis at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit: a lack
of controls for the Granular Activated Carbon inlet
valves during start-up; and for the carbon monoxide
detector manual isolation valves. Administrative
controls were established to insure the inlet valves are
shut and the safety analysis will be updated.
Buried waste retrieval: The required remediation of
the Idaho Subsurface Disposal Area is approximately 52%
complete; targeted waste has been retrieved from 6 of 9
planned Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) enclosure
Idaho National Laboratory
April 24: A neutron detector containing boron
trifluoride gas began leaking while it was being
prepared for disposition at an off-site facility. The
Idaho Falls Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit
responded. One INL worker and one INL subcontractor were
evaluated by INL medical and released. The leaking
detector and two additional suspect detectors were
isolated and overpacked. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2012-0003).
April 26: During preventative maintenance of the
exhaust stack guy wires at the Fuel Conditioning
Facility, physical anomalies in seven of the nine guy
wires were visually identified. The anomalies are
associated with a degradation of the guy wire
polypropylene core, which can lead to reduction in the
overall strength of the wire. Compensatory actions will
be taken until the guy wires are replaced.
May 8: During a review of operating logs at the Hot
Fuel Examination Facility, it was noted that operators
had failed to log the main cell oxygen levels for four
consecutive hours. Oxygen levels are monitored to verify
operability of the main cell floor penetration.
Follow-up investigation verified the oxygen levels and
operability of the main cell floor penetration.
May 8: A worker placed his personal lock on lockout/tagout
equipment without his personal identification tag at the
Specific Manufacturing Capability Project. Notifications
were made and a critique was held. No employee was in
danger of coming into contact with the hazards that were
locked and tagged. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2012-0001).
May 8: An operator was injured while performing an
inspection on an engine hoist located at the North
Boulevard Annex laboratory when a telescopic boom
support fell down, causing the hand grip to puncture and
lacerate his left hand. He was later diagnosed with a
tear in his shoulder, which was related to the incident.
Work was immediately stopped, the employee was taken to
the hospital for evaluation and treatment, and a
critique was held. (NE-ID—BEA-STC-2012-0001).
May 10: A firewater pump at the Advanced Test Reactor
was declared out of service due to low discharge
pressure. The reactor was shut down for a scheduled
maintenance outage at the time, so the firewater pump
was not required to be in operation.
May 10: While performing maintenance work in the
Advanced Test Reactor canal, a worker unexpectedly
discovered an uncontrolled electrical energy source. The
technician placed the job in a safe condition by
replacing the cover on the junction box, and reported
the problem. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0016).
May 10: A chemist working at the INL Research Center
noted unexpected chemical reaction products in the form
of white crystals in a storage container. A concern was
raised that the crystals might be unstable, and the
decision was made not to open the container. A local
hazardous material team was contacted, and they removed
the bottle and safely treated the waste.
May 14: While performing work to replace the water
calculator system at the Advanced Test Reactor, an
unexpected electrical energy source was discovered. The
technician placed the job in a safe condition and
stopped work. Because this was the second time in two
days that an unexpected electrical energy source was
discovered, all electrical work was placed on hold until
preventive interim controls are put in place.
International High Temperature Reactor Workshop: A
U.S.-Russia international workshop will be held at the
Idaho National Laboratory June 13-14, 2012, for an
information exchange to develop High Temperature Gas
Reactor technology with a focus on hydrogen production
from high temperature steam electrolysis. The workshop
was organized to fulfill a deliverable committed to by
the U.S.-Russia Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Action
Plan. The long-term objectives of the action plan are to
leverage the scientific and engineering resources and
facilities of the U.S. and Russia to advance the growth
of clean, safe, secure, and affordable nuclear energy,
through the development of innovative nuclear energy
technologies, systems, and services.