DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period February 15 to March 7, 2011

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

Feb. 15: A fiberglass waste box fell from the forks of a forklift during waste handling operations at the WMF-676 building. Surveys of the area showed no radiological release and a fact-finding was initiated. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0001).

March 3: A bulge was discovered in a waste box at the WMF-634 building, indicating a possible pressure buildup. The area was roped off and posted, and a fact-finding initiated. After the waste box acclimated to warmer temperatures, it returned to its original shape. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0002).

March 3: While performing an assessment of the lockout-tagout program at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, a facility representative discovered that a worker’s qualification had lapsed six days before he performed safe-to-work checks, independent verification and work group acceptance. Since this occurred improvements have been made in the lockout-tagout process, including a check of worker qualifications to verify they are current. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0003).     

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: As of Feb. 28, 2011, a total of 34,776 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic waste, 99.27 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and 3,744 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

Nothing to report. 

Operational Summary

Passivated Sodium Treated: The passivated sodium in the lines that ran from the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II reactor building to the sodium boiler building were successfully treated last week as part of the ongoing decontamination and decommissioning of the EBR-II facility. This was the first time passivated sodium has ever been treated in the field. Crews will be working around the clock for the next several months to complete treatment of the remaining passivated sodium.

Idaho National Laboratory

February 16: A subcontractor forgot to remove his personal key from his lock that had installed on a lockout-tagout box, as required by procedure, while working at the Materials and Fuels Complex. The key was removed by another employee and later returned to him. Work was suspended and a critique of the incident was held. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-0002).

Feb. 17: While digging a new sewer line at the Materials and Fuels Complex, a subcontractor severed a pipe that provides argon to the facility. The argon line was isolated at the supply manifold, and an investigation was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-0003).

Feb. 22: A DOE employee determined that a drum lift attachment installed on a forklift at the Specific Manufacturing Capability warehouse was not specifically listed on the forklift data placard, as required. It was determined that training on the use of data plates and procedures on fork lifting activities were inadequate. An order was issued restricting the use of all forklift attachments without proper approval, and investigation was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0002).

Feb. 23: The tritium monitor in a laboratory at the Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility alarmed. Workers evacuated the facility and a radiological control technician was contacted. Within minutes of the alarm, the tritium concentrations in the room returned to a pre-event level. The cause of the tritium alarm is under investigation, and bioassay samples were collected from the workers in the room. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2011-0002).

March 3: While inspecting an incoming shipping container at the Specific Manufacturing Capability facility, two ratchet tie-down straps were identified with two suspect/counterfeit bolts. The bolts were removed from the straps and placed in bonded storage for disposal, and the straps were destroyed. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0003).

March 7: An inspection of piping systems at facility in Idaho Falls revealed that iron pipe nipples were of suspect origin. All installed pipe nipples of suspect origin were replaced with compliant materials. (NE-ID—BEA-STC-2011-0003).   

Operational Summary

Energy Efficiency: The Center for Advanced Energy Studies at Idaho National Laboratory is spearheading a new statewide research program to help make buildings, homes and industrial systems more energy efficient. The CAES-led Energy Efficiency Research Initiative will evaluate energy-saving technologies currently on the market to see how well they work. The initiative will also study consumer behavior to determine which technologies people like best and what motivates them to conserve. 

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated March 14, 2011

Contact Shannon Brennan