DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period Nov. 13 to Dec. 10, 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

Dec. 1: The Idaho Treatment Group (ITG) is reviewing  a draft report looking into issues regarding ITG’s implementation and execution of its Issues Management and Performance Improvement Programs. The contractor is conducting a factual accuracy check of the concerns raised by the report and formulating an action plan to address the concerns. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2012-0023). 

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments:   Eight of eight planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste and two of two planned shipments of remote-handled transuranic waste were made from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal the week ending Dec. 1, 2012. Eight shipments of contact-handled waste and two shipments of remote-handled waste were scheduled for the week ending Dec. 8.

Idaho Cleanup Project

Nothing to report.

Operational Summary

Waste Repackaging Project: The Idaho Cleanup Contractor received the second and third transfers of waste drums to be repackaged under the Sludge Repackaging Project during the week ending Dec. 1. A total of 28 drums were opened, which generated 53 primary waste drums for shipment and disposal after absorbent was added to the drums.

Idaho National Laboratory

Nov. 19: An unreviewed safety question was raised at the Advanced Test Reactor after a recent safety inspection showed that the reactor shutdown system neutron level and wide range neutron level subsystem channel cables do not meet separation requirements defined in the ATR design basis. Management was notified and interim controls were instituted until the situation can be reviewed and remedied, if necessary. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0027).
Nov. 20: A subcontract construction employee using a scissor lift entered into the path of an overhead crane prior to completing lockout/tagout verification of the crane. The employee was replacing overhead lights in an area of Building Test Area North 679. The crane was properly locked and tagged out and personal locks were hung. The supervisor observed the worker in the scissor lift and notified the worker to stop work and lower the lift. There were no injuries, management notifications were made and a critique was held. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2012-0005).
Nov. 28: A primary coolant pump (PCP) at the Advanced Test Reactor failed to shut down properly in September of this year. Trouble-shooting efforts during a recent outage showed the cause of the pump breaker failure, which led to categorizing the event as reportable after the fact. A snap ring on the trip shaft of the breaker was missing from the end of the shaft and found on the bottom of the breaker case. Since the trip shaft is common to all trip functions of the breaker, the engineering safety features that trip the breaker open were degraded. All other PCP breakers were inspected and snap rings were found to be intact. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0028).
Dec. 3: While rebuilding an electrical breaker at the Advanced Test Reactor, electricians found what appeared to be about 50 suspect/counterfeit fasteners throughout the breaker. The suspect parts will be replaced with authentic parts. (NE-ID—BEA-RTC-2012-0006).
Dec. 4: A tool used to measure the cooling channel width between reactor fuel plates at the Advanced Test Reactor canal became lodged between two fuel plates. The operator dislodged the tool, bending the top of one of the fuel plates. Work was immediately stopped and the fuel element was removed to an approved storage grid in the canal, and will be placed in the restricted fuel database. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0029).
Dec. 6: A security officer was able to open a confinement door at the Advanced Test Reactor that is not supposed to be able to be opened from the outside during reactor operations. A door watch was stationed until the door knob could be repaired by the INL locksmith. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0030).

Operational Summary

Trapping Contaminants: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the United Kingdom’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) recently entered into a partnership that merges their respective innovations into a one-of-a-kind contamination containment tool. The tool captures radioactive particles in nuclear facilities to reduce airborne contamination hazards during reactor decommissioning.

The one-year, $250,000 project – funded by the U.S. Department of Energy – will test and demonstrate how these two technologies can be successfully designed and engineered into one functioning unit.


DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated January 04, 2013

Contact Shannon Brennan