DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period March 8-April 11, 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 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 on a periodic basis. To be added to this distribution list, please call Brad Bugger at (208) 526-0833.

Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

March 10: BBWI, the contractor at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, received a Notice of Violation from the state of Idaho for $45,192 as a result of noncompliances with the waste acceptance criteria for the AMWTP supercompactor. The waste acceptance criteria prohibits pressurized containers from being treated in the supercompactor. The primary violation involved a charged fire extinguisher – a pressurized container- being treated in the AMWTP supercompactor (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0004).

April 7: During receipt inspection, shackles and turnbuckles were discovered that were thought to be counterfeit or suspect parts. The parts were to be used for tensioning the framing and membrane wall system of the Retrieval Contamination Enclosure Building. The items were segregated and placed on hold, and management was notified. (EM-ID—BBWI-AMWTF-2011-0005).

Operations Summary

Waste Shipments: As of April 2, 2011, a total of 35,108 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic waste, 102.82 cubic meters of remote-handled transuranic waste, and 3,869 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

March 15: A crane operator at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit construction site failed to verify the crane’s block position before operating it, resulting in the block striking a handrail on an overhead walkway. No one was injured and the handrail was not damaged, but there was minor damage to the conduit on the side of the crane block. A safety “step back” was performed, electricians performed a lock-out/tag-out to isolate the energy to the damaged conduit, and an investigation was initiated. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2011-0001).

Operations Summary

Buried Waste Retrieval: Authorization has been given to start operations in the Accelerated Retrieval Project enclosure IV. The ARRA-funded project completed the milestone for turnover to operations, the contractor readiness assessment and is completing all pre-operations activities. The enclosures allow exhumation of buried transuranic waste for repackaging and off-site disposal. Over 2.13 acres of buried waste has been exhumed so far.

Idaho National Laboratory

March 10: During systems testing at the Advanced Test Reactor, yokes on two emergency firewater injection system control valves failed. Work was stopped and management notifications were made. The reactor was already defueled and shut down, so there was no need for a shut down due to the inoperability of this system. A critique was performed. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0004).
March 14: During demolition and modification of process equipment located at the Specific Manufacturing Capability Project, suspect/counterfeit bolts were found. The bolts were removed and placed into bonded storage for disposal. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0004).

March 14: Management discovered that two sealed radiological sources being temporarily stored at the Materials and Fuels Complex had not been registered and recorded in the INL radiological source inventory database. The two sources were being stored in approved containers within the facility for future installation into security equipment. Notifications were made and proper paperwork for source registration was initiated. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-0003).

March 21: A manager at the Advanced Test Reactor, while conducting an observation, noticed that the personnel door between the reactor main floor and the canal area did not close. The door is safety class equipment but was not required to be operable at the time. The hinges on the door were adjusted so that it closes properly as designed. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0005).

March 24: During a facility inspection at the Analytical Laboratory, several suspect/counterfeit fasteners were discovered on equipment in the laboratory. Management notifications were made and a nonconformance report was generated. (NE-ID—BEA-AL-2011-0001).

March 28: A warehouse technician at the Specific Manufacturing Facility was pushing a 15.5 foot high set of rolling stairs down an aisle when the top rail of the stairs struck an emergency light that was suspended from the ceiling. A work order was issued to reinstall the emergency light at a higher height because it had been installed too low for normal operations. Inspection revealed two additional lights that were at risk because of their installation height, and a work order was issued to correct the situation. All other lights were determined to be placed at the appropriate height for operations. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2011-0005).

April 1: A worker slipped on the ice and injured his shoulder while working at the Materials and Fuels Complex in February. The worker later had surgery to repair his damaged shoulder. (NE-ID—BEA-MFC-2011-005).

April 4: During a walk down of lockout/tagout procedures at the Advanced Test Reactor, the locking device, lock, tag and hasp all came loose from the tagged 120 VAC distribution breaker. An investigation was performed to determine why the lockout/tagout components came off. All ATR lockout/tagouts were checked and all of those of similar design as the one that broke were removed from service pending further evaluation. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0006).

April 5: It was determined that surveillance for safety exhaust system filters at the Fuel Conditioning Facility did not meet applicable standards. The facility remained in the secure mode until the filter testing procedures were revised to comply with the applicable standards, and testing was completed. (NE-ID—BEA-FCF-2011-0002).

April 7: A technician removed a 120-volt jumper from a 480-volt switchgear at the Advanced Test Reactor without proper protective equipment. Management was notified and a critique of the incident was held. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2011-0007).

Operations Summary

Idaho Research Symposium: More than 50 people from industry and the Center for Advanced Energy Systems (CAES) partner institutions attended the Idaho Research Symposium, which was held last month in Idaho Falls. During the event, CAES scientists and engineers described the research capabilities of their respective institutions in geothermal, energy efficiency, nuclear energy and bioenergy and discussed potential areas of private-sector collaboration.