DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period December 27, 2011 to January 23, 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

Jan. 11: A technician at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility mistakenly entered the wrong number into a system used to verify that waste drums are ready for supercompaction. The mistake was caught by an electronic alarm system and the drum was not compacted. All fissile tracking and assay systems were placed in suspension and all movement of waste containers into the Mass Control Areas was stopped prior to corrective action. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2012-0001).

Jan. 23: The plant shift manager at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility determined that required safety actions had not been completed for the Retrieval Box Assay System after a problem was discovered with the assay system. The system was placed in suspension mode until corrective actions were taken. (EM-ID—ITG-AMWTF-2012-0002).

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: All 12 planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were made for the week ending January 7, 2012. Nine of the shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated Retrieval Project. Twelve shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were scheduled for the week ending January 14, 2012.


Idaho Cleanup Project

Nothing to report.    

Operational Summary

Marking 20th Anniversary of Idaho Cleanup Agreement: In two decades of Superfund cleanup work, the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho site has removed hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of radioactive and hazardously contaminated soils, excavated radioactive waste buried since the 1950s, removed three nuclear reactors and hundreds of buildings, completely closed three major nuclear facilities and removed thousands of unexploded ordnance shells and fragments. The 20th anniversary of the cleanup agreement was last month.


Idaho National Laboratory

Jan. 3: The latch for a confinement door at the Advanced Test Reactor came loose, leaving the door in a position where it would not stay latched in the closed condition. The door latch was repaired, the door declared operable and limitations on operations were lifted. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0001).

Jan. 3: The canal bubbler at the Advanced Test Reactor was out of service, resulting in limited operating conditions for the canal. Staff verified that the canal level was normal and that no cask handling was taking place in the canal. The needle valve was opened and the canal level alarm restored, allowing resumption of normal operations. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0002).

Jan. 4: High winds damaged a power meter at the Materials and Fuels Complex, such that the lower portion of the meter allowed uncontrolled access to hazardous energy. The area was roped off, notifications made and the power meter was repaired immediately. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2012-0001).

Jan. 12: During a routine safety walk-down in building 798 at the Materials and Fuels Complex, it was discovered that an instrument air line had been installed in the building’s heating and ventilation system without proper authorization. A critique was held and work associated with the project was shut down pending activity reviews and corrective actions. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2012-0002).

Jan. 17: INL staff unexpectedly discovered radiation labels on equipment they were preparing to return to a customer. A radiological contamination and radiation survey was conducted, the cage used to store the instruments was posted as a controlled area, and management notifications were made. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2012-0001).

Jan. 18: A technical violation of the safety standards for a glovebox at the Special Nuclear Materials Storage Facility at the Materials and Fuels Complex was noted during a routine safety review. The violation was the result of an administrative oversight when the safety documents were approved, and had no safety consequences. A technical safety violation was declared and the safety document was updated to correct the administrative error. (NE-ID—BEA-FMF-2012-0001).

Operational Summary

Idaho National Laboratory Launches New App: In concert with the 2012 kick-off of National Nuclear Science Week, Idaho National Laboratory has launched a one-of-a-kind mobile app. It allows smartphone and tablet users to quickly and easily get a sense of INL’s nuclear energy research capabilities and facilities, without investing the multiple days it would take for a comparable in-person tour. University and industry representatives, government leaders and members of the public now have a new, visually compelling means of finding out what kind of nuclear energy research goes on at the lab, which serves as the national nuclear laboratory.


DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated January 25, 2012

Contact Shannon Brennan