DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period September 27 to October 17, 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

Nothing to report.

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: As of Oct. 15, 2011, a total of 36,625 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic waste, 106.72 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and 4,990 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

Tank Farm Remediation: DOE submitted to its regulators this week a design for the installation of the low permeability pavement and ditch network inside the tank farm at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. The design was submitted ahead of the Nov. 4 milestone, and regulators have a 45-day review period.


Idaho National Laboratory

Oct. 5: While preparing to remove scaffolding from around a check valve at the Advanced Test Reactor, workers realized that a reach rod for the M-6 inlet valve was in the area they were planning to work, and that it had not been locked out. Work was stopped until the proper isolation of hazardous energy was established, and the lockout/tagout was changed to include the motor for the M-6 valve. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0017).

Oct. 6: A BEA employee suffered a shoulder injury during a leadership course which included a confidence-building exercise using a rope course. The activity required the employee to climb, with a safety harness on, up a pole approximately 30 feet to a small platform, jump off, and catch himself on a small ring. At the time of the injury, the employee was transported to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder. During a follow-up examination, the employee was informed he suffered extensive muscle and/or tendon damage and would require surgery. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0014).

Oct. 6: During assembly of a newly-purchased snow plow, personnel discovered that the fasteners shipped with the snow plow were suspect/counterfeit. New approved bolts were installed and the suspect/counterfeit bolts were placed into a bonded storage area for disposal. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0015).

Oct. 10: Inspections conducted by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality resulted in preliminary findings of 17 violations of underground petroleum storage tank requirements. Alleged violations included: failure to provide cathodic protection, failure to ensure proper operation of cathodic protection, failure to install adequate overfill prevention equipment, failure to use an overfill protection system, and the failure to take necessary precautions to prevent overspill/spillage. A review was performed to assess all of the INL underground petroleum storage tanks for preliminary issues identified during the inspection. Corrective actions included installation of a high-level alarm on a tank at the Central Facilities Area and ordering additional high-level alarms for other petroleum tanks identified with inadequate overfill protection. An official report from DEQ is pending. (EM-ID—BEA-CFA-2011-0005).

Oct. 12: An operator at the Materials and Fuels Complex received an elevated dose of radiation to his right hand while processing metal fuel samples. The elevated dose is believed to have occurred in the Hot Repair Area, when radiological samples were characterized and packaged for transport. Dosimeters for all personnel who took part in this activity were analyzed and no additional abnormal results were identified. The extremity dose tracking requirements were modified to require that all personnel who use extremity dosimetry estimate and track their personal dose when signing on to a radiological work permit. (NE-ID—BEA-HFEF-2011-0004).

Oct. 12: An operator noted that the engine block heater reading for a firewater pump at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex was at 210 degrees F, which is outside the specified range of 120-160 degrees. The circuit breaker to the heater was opened, the pump was declared out of service, and compensatory actions were taken. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0018).

Operational Summary

Irradiated Fuel Research: Idaho National Laboratory researchers recently demonstrated a new sample preparation technique that makes it easier for researchers to examine irradiated fuel at the nanoscale. This accomplishment revealed material behavior that suggests increased stability of a new type of reactor fuel. Further study and improvement in nuclear fuel performance are now much more attainable.  

DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated October 25, 2011

Contact Shannon Brennan