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
July 18: While working on a window-mounted air
conditioner at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment
Facility, a technician drilled a hole in the condensate
collection pan and struck a cooling blade. The air
conditioner was removed from service.
Waste Shipments: Eight of eight planned shipments of
contact-handled transuranic waste and three of three
shipments of remote-handled transuranic waste were made
from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New
Mexico for the week ending July 28, 2012. One of the
shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated
Retrieval Project. Eight shipments of contact-handled
transuranic waste and three shipments of remote-handled
transuranic waste were scheduled for the week ending
August 4, 2012.
Idaho Cleanup Project
July 17: A potential inadequate safety analysis was
declared as part of the investigation into the pressure
event that occurred during start-up of the Integrated
Waste Treatment Facility. It was determined that the
potential for “blinding” filter systems in the facility
with unburned charcoal had not been adequately analyzed
in the current safety documents. The facility was shut
down after the June 16 pressure event, and an
investigative team was commissioned to determine the
root causes of the event and how to correct them.
July 23: An equipment operator at the Integrated
Waste Treatment Unit placed a lockout on an energy
source without all placing his personal identification
tag. The oversight was noticed by another worker, the
operator was found and he correctly placed his
identification tag. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2012-0010).
August 1: Maintenance personnel entered a confined
space at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit without
placing the proper locks/tags, as required by procedure.
All confined space permit work was suspended at IWTU
until corrective actions were taken.
Reactor Decommissioning: The last truckload of grout
was placed in the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II)
reactor tank on July 25, 2012 as part of the
decommissioning process. EBR-II is the only Resource
Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) permitted nuclear
reactor in existence. Prior to grouting the tank,
residual sodium in the reactor tank and coolant system
was successfully treated and rendered non-hazardous.
Grouting the reactor tank is a major step toward the
eventual RCRA closure of the facility.
Idaho National Laboratory
July 17: The Midway Fire that had been burning
offsite since July 10 crossed onto Idaho National
Laboratory land. Fire crews from the INL and the Bureau
of Land Management eventually put out the fire and there
was no damage to INL structures.
July 19: During annual testing of the Safety Exhaust
System at the Fuel Conditioning Facility, the automatic
damper failed to open in less than 10 seconds, as
required by response procedure. Testing was stopped,
notifications made and a maintenance request was
submitted to repair the damper.
Supporting the Mars Rover: The Mars Science
Laboratory successfully landed on the planet on Aug. 5.
The Idaho National Laboratory played a key role in
testing and fueling the multi-mission radioisotope
thermoelectric generator (space battery) that will power
the Mars rover’s instruments during its Mars exploration