DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period February 7, 2012 to February 27, 2012

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. 13: While digging a hole for a fence post at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, a water line was ruptured. A concern was raised that an accompanying heat trace may have been damaged. A 120 volt heat trace was found in the area and, although it was not damaged, its discovery resulted in the categorization of the event as the unexpected discovery of an uncontrolled hazardous energy source. All work was stopped after the leak occurred, and the water line was isolated. The fact that facility drawings were inadequate to identify underground utilities in the area was entered into the issues tracking system for resolution. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2012-0006).

Feb. 16: Maintenance work involving a boroscope inspection of a vacuum hose at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility was conducted without the required lockout/tagout. Management was notified and a review of the event was conducted. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-23012-0007).

Feb. 16: A lockout/tagout procedure was violated during maintenance work in a contaminated cell at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. Maintenance activities in the cell were stopped, management was notified and review of the event was conducted. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2012-0008).

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Two shipments of transuranic waste were made from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico during the week ending Feb. 25. Another six shipments were made through March 1, with six more shipments planned by the end of the week of March 3.


Idaho Cleanup Project

Nothing to report.   

Operational Summary

Buried Waste Update: Waste processing operations continue in the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) VII with processing of drums in Airlocks 2 and 6 at the Idaho Cleanup Project. Seven drums were processed through the Drum Packaging Station and five were shipped to the Central Characterization Project during the past week. Exhumations continue to find only small areas of targeted waste. 


Idaho National Laboratory

Feb. 20: Storage rules were not followed for nuclear material at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility. More specifically, spent fuel elements were incorrectly loaded into a storage rack. While the total amount of nuclear material in the facility was below safety standards, the rack was not approved for storage of this particular material. Nuclear materials transfers at the facility were halted until a review of the event was completed and corrective actions taken. (NE-ID—BEA-HFEF-2012-0001).

Feb. 20: During routine preventative maintenance while the Advanced Test Reactor was in a maintenance shutdown condition, it was determined that tubing used in backup plant monitoring equipment was leaking. The tube was replaced during the maintenance shutdown. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0004).

Feb. 27: While performing routine maintenance during the shutdown of the Advanced Test Reactor, the position alarm on the Firewater Injector System valve failed to actuate as expected. Management was notified and corrective action was taken. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0005).

Feb. 27: The crash bar on a confinement door at the Advanced Test Reactor was found broken. The ATR was not in operation at the time, and confinement was not required. The door was repaired the same day. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0006).

Operational Summary

Lab Perfects Decontamination Process Using Foam: Radioactive contamination can be difficult to remediate. Removing contamination from complex surfaces such as brick or concrete can be costly, inefficient and hazardous. But a new approach developed at Idaho National Laboratory is changing that.

In that approach a foam can be used alone or in conjunction with specialized clay to pull contamination off surfaces more effectively than previous methods. The new approach minimizes cost, waste volume and worker exposure. It has been commercially licensed by Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI), as Rad-Release Chemical Decontamination Technology, or simply Rad-Release.


DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated March 05, 2012

Contact Shannon Brennan