DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period March 22 to April 5, 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.

Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

April 1: Workers detected radioactive contamination on a cargo container at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. Work was stopped and the area around the container was posted as contaminated until it could be decontaminated. (EMID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0010).

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Through March 27, 2010, a total of 32,031 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic waste, 87.64 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and 2,278 cubic meters of previously buried transuranic waste were shipped from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal.

Idaho Cleanup Project

March 22: A nylon sling line on a crane failed during construction operations at the Accelerated Retrieval Project VI site, resulting in recoiling of the whip line directly up the length of the boom on the crane. The crane operator failed to properly maintain slack in the whip line as the boom was being lowered. No one was injured. The crane and associated equipment were placed out of service and management notified. (EM-ID—CWI-RWMC-2010-0005).

March 22: While working at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit construction project, an ironworker fell off a ladder and injured his ankle. The worker was approximately four feet above the floor on the ladder tightening bolts when two hand rails, staged against the stairway, fell against the ladder, knocking it out from under the worker. The employee was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. The incident is under investigation. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2010-0001).

March 23: A demolition and decommissioning worker at the TRA-632 Hot Cell Facility discovered radiological contamination on the bottom of his shoe while self-monitoring on his way out of the facility. A radiological worker assisted him in removing the contamination and re-traced his travel path, but found no further contamination. (EM-ID—CWI-BIC-2010—0004).

Operational Summary

Waste Exhumation: Processing of previously-buried waste continues at the Accelerated Retrieval Project at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex. The targeted waste, contaminated with radioactive and hazardous substances, is being dug up, characterized, repackaged and shipped to a licensed off-site disposal facility. So far 1.22 acres of waste has been exhumed, yielding about 17,000 drums of targeted waste.

Exhuming targeted waste at the Accelerated Retrieval Project IV site.

Idaho National Laboratory

March 24: An operator at the Health Physics Instrumentation Laboratory received an unplanned radiation exposure when he mistakenly entered a room with an exposed Cesium-137 source present. The operator’s supervisor intervened to return the room to a safe condition and a Radiological Controls Technician verified safe configuration. The operator’s exposure was below reportable limits. The incident is under investigation. (NE-ID—BEA-CFA-2010-0002).

Operational Summary

Reactor Experiments: After a year of intense nuclear irradiation, the first four university experiments to use Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) National Scientific User Facility are coming out of the reactor. Up next for the experiments: post-irradiation analysis, another key step in the User Facility’s effort to encourage collaboration among nuclear energy researchers from academia, industry and U.S. Department of Energy national labs. The four experiments coming out of the ATR are led by North Carolina State University, the University of Florida, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Illinois. They were the first four projects selected by the User Facility in January 2008. 

INL's Heather MacLean (left) and the University of Wisconsin's Guoping Cao and Tyler Gerczak collaborate on a National Scientific User Facility nuclear research project at UW's Ion Beam facility.

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated April 07, 2010

Contact Shannon Brennan


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