Issued Sept. 15, 2010

DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period Aug. 27-Sept. 13, 2010

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 site. 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

Aug. 17: While performing a routine surveillance of drum overpacking operations at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, a manager noted that operators were not following procedures in the prescribed sequence because of problems with the Waste Tracking System data entry. Drum overpacking operations were stopped and a management review was held. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0019).

Aug. 27: A waste drum was dropped as it was being moved on a forklift at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility as the forklift crossed over a floor expansion joint, causing the drum to bounce up and fall. No waste was released from the drum. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0021).

Aug. 27: While performing a quality assurance check on a drum assay system at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, an operator inserted check sources into the wrong spots in waste drums, causing the system to fail the check. A review of videotape of the procedure identified the error, the sources were put in the correct places and the assay system passed three subsequent checks. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2010-0020).

Operations Summary

Waste Shipments: Eight of eight planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were made from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal for the week ending Sept. 4, 2010. Seven of the shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated Retrieval Project. Fifteen contact-handled transuranic waste shipments and two remote-handled transuranic waste shipments were scheduled for the week ending September 11, 2010.

Idaho Cleanup Project
Nothing to report.

Operations Summary

Recovery Act Activities: The Idaho Cleanup Project completed in-situ grouting of mobile buried contaminants with a total of 2,168 insertion points for grout injection. The contractor exhumed 0.03 acres and packaged 22 cubic meters of targeted buried waste. Decontamination and Decommissioning crews completed all work on the Tank Farm at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. Crews also completed constructing containment for Test Reactor Area-603 Hot Cell #3 waste removal activities.
Idaho National Laboratory
Aug. 26: An operator broke a bone in his foot while accidentally kicking a wall as he descended a staircase at the Radio-Chemistry Laboratory. Safety personnel walked down the area to ensure it was safe for access. (NE-ID—BEA-AL-2010-0001).
Aug. 26: An air compressor at the Advanced Test Reactor failed due to high temperatures likely caused by a loss of cooling to the compressor. The cause is under investigation. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0017).
Aug. 26: An emergency diesel generator failed to start during a planned maintenance electrical outage at the Advanced Test Reactor. The electrical outage was suspended until the situation could be remedied. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0016).
Aug. 27: A wildland fire occurred on the Idaho National Laboratory near Highway 26. The INL Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management and other fire agencies responded, and the fire was contained on Aug. 28 after burning 14,139 acres. No structural damage or injury to personnel resulted. (NE-ID—BEA-CFA-2010-0004).
Sept. 8: A subcontractor driving a concrete truck came into contact with and broke an overhead 120 volt power line at the Materials and Fuels Complex. The driver stopped and notified his escort, work was suspended and the area barricaded until the line could be repaired. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2010-0005).

Operations Summary
Energy Secretary Visits INL: Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the Idaho National Laboratory on Sept. 13 to speak to employees and the media, and tour INL facilities and learn about laboratory programs. During his speech to employees, Secretary Chu emphasized the importance of dealing with global climate change and the role of nuclear energy in helping to meet that challenge.