DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period Feb. 3 to Feb. 22, 2010*

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.

* Because of a problem in collecting the data, this report includes three weeks worth of summaries, rather than the normal two.

Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

Feb. 3: A tractor trailer was moving five boxes of low-level waste when the boxes slid to the side of the trailer, bending the safety rail. The apparent build-up of snow and ice on the trailer deck contributed to this event. No one was injured. The tractor was shut down and placed in a safe configuration. As a compensatory measure for future movement of boxes, tie down straps on transport trailers will be used and all transport trailers must be free of snow and ice on the deck prior to use. AMWTP has experienced five mobile equipment events during the second quarter, an indication of an increasing negative trend. This was reported as a management concern. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-003; EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0004).

Feb. 15: While a technician was performing maintenance on an air compressor, a 1.5-inch by 15-inch section of stainless steel tubing ruptured. A loud bang from the rupture caused a ringing in the technician’s ears. He was evaluated by the Site Medical Coordinator and released for work without restrictions. The apparent cause of the rupture was a modification which installed a check valve and isolation valve with no pressure relief method between the compressor and the receiver. The compressor was secured from operation. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0005).

Feb. 22: During a routine survey of an in-plant waste transport trailer, radioactive contamination was discovered on the trailer deck. The contaminated area was secured, a boundary area was placed around the trailer and waste storage areas that recently received waste from this trailer were surveyed, with no contamination found. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTP-2010-0006).

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Through Feb. 6, 2010, a total of 31,343 cubic meters of stored transuranic waste, 85.37 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste and 2,278 cubic meters of previously buried transuranic waste has been shipped from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for disposal.  

Idaho Cleanup Project

Feb. 4: A worker reported that he felt a shock while passing through a steel door in Building CPP-666. The worker was evaluated at the Central Facilities Areas medical dispensary and released without restrictions. An investigation was undertaken into the cause of the shock. (EM-ID—CWI-FUELCSTR-2010-0001).

Feb. 18: During construction at the Advanced Retrieval Project, workers erecting a retrieval enclosure were preparing to lift a truss assembly into place when they heard a pop and the truss began to slowly collapse. The truss came to rest on the front of an unoccupied crane. All workers in the area were at or beyond the fall radius of the truss and were not injured. The truss subassembly was destroyed and there was minor damage to the crane. The immediate area of the event was secured and posted and the damaged crane was tagged out of service. An investigation into the incident was initiated. (EM-ID—CWI-RWMC-2010-0002).

Feb. 18: Following fuel loading of a cask at the Irradiated Fissile Material Storage Facility, water was detected leaking from the fuel cask. The cask will remain in shielded storage until an approved remedy to the problem is implemented. A review of the incident was initiated. (EM-ID—CWI-FUELRCSTER-2010-0002). 

Operational Summary

Dry Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel: The loading of spent nuclear fuel into casks for transfer from wet pool storage to dry was completed recently. This is a significant step toward transfer of all Environmental Management-owned spent nuclear fuel from wet to dry storage by June 30, 2010.

Idaho National Laboratory

Feb. 4: During retrieval operations at the Radioactive Scrap and Waste Facility, a numbering discrepancy between the top and side markings on the waste container and the approved container list was discovered. The discrepancy made verification of the containers questionable. Retrieval operations were stopped pending resolution of the issue. (NE-ID—BEA-2010-0002).

Feb. 11: An air leak was detected from two pressurized seals on the bulkhead at the head of a nuclear fuel storage canal. Cask handling was prohibited in the canal until the seal was repaired. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0003).

Feb. 11: The personal physician for an INL heavy equipment operator diagnosed the operator with severe tendon damage in his right arm from previously assisting with the relocation of a vending machine at the Materials and Fuels Complex. The operator will require surgery. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2010-0012).

Feb. 11: A heavy equipment operator, while removing snow with a front-end loader at the Materials and Fuels Complex, struck an electrical junction box hidden beneath the snow with the blade of the loader. The blade damaged a conduit and severed at least one 120-volt conductor, resulting in a power loss. There were no injuries and an investigation into the incident was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2010-0001).

Feb. 19: A portable battery-powered x-ray generator unexpectedly activated and generated x-rays at an INL research laboratory. An initial review indicated the operators present in the room were not exposed. The control key to the generator was locked up and the battery removed from the device to secure it. The operators were directed to abstain from radiation work until further notice. The incident is under investigation. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2010-0001).

 Operational Summary

Joint Biomass Study: A new collaborative study between Idaho National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will investigate whether roasting of biomass fuels can create a more valuable product for the nascent biofuels industry. Initial studies show that driving moisture and volatile compounds from wood or straw could make the biomass more stable, compactable and energy dense:



Read Other DOE-Idaho Operations Summary Releases

Last updated March 03, 2010

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