DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period Feb. 12, 2013 to Feb. 25, 2013

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

Nothing to report.

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments:  The next shipments of transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico are scheduled for late February, when the facility restarts following a maintenance shut down. DOE’s Idaho Site continues to build up a backlog of transuranic waste ready to ship.  Idaho currently has 30 RH-TRU (remote handled transuranic) and 50 CH TRU (contact handled transuranic) waste shipments ready to ship as soon as WIPP is back on line.        

Idaho Cleanup Project

Feb. 12: A fire watch noticed a small flame at the end of a 2-inch drain pipe during a welding operation at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. The fire watch alerted the welder, who scraped a small piece of burning debris out of the pipe to the floor with a file, and then extinguished the flame. The INL Fire Department was notified, and a fact-finding meeting was held. (EM-ID—CWI-ICPWM-2013-0001).
Feb. 20: During routine operations at the Sludge Repackaging Project in WMF-1617, approximately 30 pounds of sludge spilled from a tray to the soil. The spillage exceeded the one-pound limit specified by permit. An excavator was used to recover the tray and the waste that was spilled was placed back into containment. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality was notified. (EM-ID—CWI-RWMC-2013-0001).
Feb. 20: During routine operations at the Sludge Repackaging Project in WMF-1617, about four pounds of sludge fell through a damaged secondary containment tray to the soil below, exceeding the one-pound permit limit. Waste handling was secured pending cleanup of the spill, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality was notified. (EM-ID—CWI-RWMC-2013-0002).

Operational Summary

Waste Treatment Progress: Progress continues in the effort to resume start-up activities for the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, after the “pressure event” halted start-up activities last summer. The IWTU is designed to treat the remaining 900,000 gallons of liquid waste stored at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center tank farm. With the completion of the IWTU main process piping flush, the project can now start reassembling the process gas filter, off gas filter and the carbon reduction reformer. Restart activities are anticipated to resume this summer. 

Idaho National Laboratory

Feb. 12: Personnel noticed that a piece of seal was missing on Door 314, a confinement door at the Advanced Test Reactor. The reactor was in a scheduled outage at the time. A request for service to repair the seal was submitted. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2013-0005).
Feb. 12: An engineering representative noticed that the wrong test stop for a specific experiment was installed in an in-pile tube of the Advanced Test Reactor. The experiment was removed from the in-pile tube, the incorrect test stop was removed and replaced, and the experiment reinserted.  (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2013-0006).
Feb. 13: The Facility Support Manager at the Advanced Test Reactor determined that the core loading of the reactor did not match the core loading specified in the quality control package and by the experiment engineering organization. Actions to ensure correct core loading are being developed and will be completed prior to reactor start-up. An investigation into the event will be completed to determine what corrective actions are necessary. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2013-0007).
Feb. 14: An INL researcher was injured when he was sprayed by a mixture of steam and molten salt that came off the top of a container during an experiment at the INL Research Center. The injured researcher was taken to a local hospital for treatment of burns, and was later released to go home that evening. The system was de-energized by a fellow researcher immediately after the event, cooling down the equipment involved in the experiment. An investigation is underway into the incident. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2013-0001).
Feb. 18: It was discovered that a hand-held analyzer containing radioactive sealed sources had been delivered to the office of an industrial hygienist at the Specific Manufacturing Capability (SMC) Project without proper inspection and without being entered into the radioactive source inventory. The analyzer was taken to the Radiological Control Office for survey and placed into the SMC radioactive source inventory.  (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2013-0002).
Feb. 19: It was discovered that earlier in the month, transuranic material had been removed from storage at the Fuel Manufacturing Facility for inventory purposes and then returned to storage without placing the material into the upgraded minimum required storage configuration.  (Facility safety requirements include verification of upgraded storage container upon handling.)  Management was notified, the two containers of transuranic material were placed into storage containers that met minimum safety requirements, and transuranic material handling was secured pending an investigation and corrective actions. (NE-ID—BEA-FMF-2013-0001).

Operational Summary

Top INL Researchers Honored: A physicist and a materials scientist with six decades of combined research and development experience have been selected as Idaho National Laboratory Fellows. A.J. "Gus" Caffrey and Richard N. Wright have joined the elite ranks held by only nine others at the U.S. Department of Energy’s INL. Selection as a Laboratory Fellow is the lab's top scientific achievement designation and recognizes an individual's outstanding contributions to the scientific and engineering community.
Caffrey earned a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University specializing in gamma ray and neutron spectroscopy. During his 32-year tenure at INL, he led the development of several transformative technologies. The Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS) system nondestructively discerns the contents of munitions that may contain chemical warfare agents. It earned an R&D 100 Award 20 years ago and is used around the world today.
Wright earned bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University. During his 27-year tenure at INL, he has led several research efforts and the lab's Materials Science Department. He currently leads a team characterizing potential metals for applications in very high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactors for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant High Temperature Metals Research and Development Program.

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated April 17, 2013

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