DOE-Idaho Operations Summary

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period April 25 to May 14, 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

Nothing to report.

Operational Summary

Waste Shipments: Eight of eight planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were made to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for the week ending May 5, 2012. Eight shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste are scheduled for the week ending May 12, 2012. 


Idaho Cleanup Project

April 29: An operator at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit left the key in a personal lock when hanging the lock and tag on the lockbox for a lockout/tagout. Notifications were made and appropriate follow-up actions were taken. All hazardous energy was properly controlled using an approved lockout/tagout. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2012-0006).

May 7: Two deficiencies were identified in the safety analysis at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit: a lack of controls for the Granular Activated Carbon inlet valves during start-up; and for the carbon monoxide detector manual isolation valves. Administrative controls were established to insure the inlet valves are shut and the safety analysis will be updated. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2012-0007).   

Operational Summary

Buried waste retrieval: The required remediation of the Idaho Subsurface Disposal Area is approximately 52% complete; targeted waste has been retrieved from 6 of 9 planned Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) enclosure structures.  


Idaho National Laboratory

April 24: A neutron detector containing boron trifluoride gas began leaking while it was being prepared for disposition at an off-site facility. The Idaho Falls Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit responded. One INL worker and one INL subcontractor were evaluated by INL medical and released. The leaking detector and two additional suspect detectors were isolated and overpacked. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2012-0003).

April 26: During preventative maintenance of the exhaust stack guy wires at the Fuel Conditioning Facility, physical anomalies in seven of the nine guy wires were visually identified. The anomalies are associated with a degradation of the guy wire polypropylene core, which can lead to reduction in the overall strength of the wire. Compensatory actions will be taken until the guy wires are replaced. (NE-ID—BEA-AL-2012-0003).

May 8: During a review of operating logs at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility, it was noted that operators had failed to log the main cell oxygen levels for four consecutive hours. Oxygen levels are monitored to verify operability of the main cell floor penetration. Follow-up investigation verified the oxygen levels and operability of the main cell floor penetration. (NE-ID—BEA-HFEF-2012-0004).

May 8: A worker placed his personal lock on lockout/tagout equipment without his personal identification tag at the Specific Manufacturing Capability Project. Notifications were made and a critique was held. No employee was in danger of coming into contact with the hazards that were locked and tagged. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2012-0001).

May 8: An operator was injured while performing an inspection on an engine hoist located at the North Boulevard Annex laboratory when a telescopic boom support fell down, causing the hand grip to puncture and lacerate his left hand. He was later diagnosed with a tear in his shoulder, which was related to the incident. Work was immediately stopped, the employee was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment, and a critique was held. (NE-ID—BEA-STC-2012-0001).

May 10: A firewater pump at the Advanced Test Reactor was declared out of service due to low discharge pressure. The reactor was shut down for a scheduled maintenance outage at the time, so the firewater pump was not required to be in operation. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0017).

May 10: While performing maintenance work in the Advanced Test Reactor canal, a worker unexpectedly discovered an uncontrolled electrical energy source. The technician placed the job in a safe condition by replacing the cover on the junction box, and reported the problem. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0016).

May 10: A chemist working at the INL Research Center noted unexpected chemical reaction products in the form of white crystals in a storage container. A concern was raised that the crystals might be unstable, and the decision was made not to open the container. A local hazardous material team was contacted, and they removed the bottle and safely treated the waste. (NE-ID—BEA-INLLABS-2012-0004).

May 14: While performing work to replace the water calculator system at the Advanced Test Reactor, an unexpected electrical energy source was discovered. The technician placed the job in a safe condition and stopped work. Because this was the second time in two days that an unexpected electrical energy source was discovered, all electrical work was placed on hold until preventive interim controls are put in place. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2012-0018).

Operational Summary

International High Temperature Reactor Workshop: A U.S.-Russia international workshop will be held at the Idaho National Laboratory June 13-14, 2012, for an information exchange to develop High Temperature Gas Reactor technology with a focus on hydrogen production from high temperature steam electrolysis. The workshop was organized to fulfill a deliverable committed to by the U.S.-Russia Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Action Plan. The long-term objectives of the action plan are to leverage the scientific and engineering resources and facilities of the U.S. and Russia to advance the growth of clean, safe, secure, and affordable nuclear energy, through the development of innovative nuclear energy technologies, systems, and services.


DOE-ID Operations Summary Releases

Last updated May 16, 2012

Contact Shannon Brennan