DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period June 15 to July 6, 2009

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

June 15: While retrieving waste at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, workers discovered a waste bin that was labeled as potentially containing unexploded ordnance. Previous information about the container indicated it probably did not contain unexploded ordnance, but because of the labeling, that information was not considered definitive. An exclusion zone was established around the container, using guidance from INL explosives experts. Additional information is being gathered to definitively determine the contents of the container. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2009-0008).

June 24: During an inspection a leak was detected in a waste bin at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. A survey detected minor levels of radioactive contamination in the area. The area around the bin was roped off and decontaminated. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2009-0009).

June 25: A waste handling operator was struck in the head and arm by a trailer stanchion while loading waste boxes on a trailer for shipment. The operator was evaluated and treated by a nurse on site and was released with no work restrictions. An investigation was initiated into the cause of the accident. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2009-0010).

June 25: A fact-finding review determined that three different safety-related incidents over the previous month at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project constituted a management concern. The incidents included: a backstop on the forks of a forklift struck a fire sprinkler pipe; a forklift hit a roll-up guide rail and the handle of a fire water system valve; and an excavator boom hit the propped open door of an excavator, causing damage. All supervisors were directed to remind their crews about the need for proper training and to be more aware of their surroundings in their work areas. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2009-0011). 

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Through June 27, 2009, a total of 28,496 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste, 85.37cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and 1,026 cubic meters of previously-buried transuranic waste have been shipped from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal.

Idaho Cleanup Project

June 29: An equipment operator noted the improper assembly of wire rope components on a mobile crane during a daily pre-use inspection at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex. Other suspect/counterfeit wire clamps were also noted.

CWI President John Fulton greets new employees.

This crane was tagged out of service and further mobile crane inspections discovered suspect/counterfeit components. These cranes were also tagged out of service. (EM-ID-CWI-BIC-2009-0002). 

Operational Summary

Stimulus-Funded Ramp-Up: Over a hundred new faces have already joined the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) workforce, both in offices and at work sites across DOE’s Idaho Site. The ICP is ramping up its workforce to complete new work scope assigned to the ICP under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Idaho National Laboratory

June 16: An operator entered into a confined space – a burn chamber in an incinerator -- without the required confined space work permit at the Specific Manufacturing Capability Project. The incinerator was tagged out of service and operations curtailed until procedures and training are revised. (NE-ID-BEA-SMC-2009-0007).

June 16: Operators at the Advanced Test Reactor received a positive pressure alarm. An investigation determined that a confinement door was open due to a loose and a missing screw in the closure mechanism. The closure mechanism was repaired, management notifications were made and an investigation is underway. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2009-0014).

June 17: During a review to evaluate installation of water heater piping in Central Facilities Area Building 696, discrepancies in safe work planning and execution were noted. There were no injuries or facility damage. One worker’s qualifications have been suspended until the completion of an investigation. (NE-ID-BEA-CFA-2009-0001).

June 24: A bulging 55-gallon drum of microbiocide was discovered at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex’s chemical storage area. The area was isolated and a hazardous materials team successfully vented the drum. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2009-0015).

June 25: Two safety professionals noted that electricians who were working on a catwalk at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility without the required fall protection. It was later discovered the fall prevention analysis was inadequate. All access to the catwalk was stopped until a critique was performed and the fall protection could be reanalyzed. (NE-ID-BEA-HFEF-2009-0001).

July 1: During fabrication of spent nuclear fuel storage boxes at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, cracks were found in the corners of stainless steel structural square tubing. All work on the fuel storage boxes was stopped and a cause analysis is in progress. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2009-0016).

Operational Summary

Users Week attendees gather at Idaho Falls’ University Place recently.

ATR National User Facility “User’s Week”: The Idaho National Laboratory recently hosted students and faculty from across the nation, representatives from industry and other experts in nuclear power as part of the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility’s “User’s Week” activities. 




Read Other DOE-Idaho Operations Summary Releases

Last updated July 13, 2009

Contact Shannon Brennan