DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period April 20 to May 5, 2010
Distributed May 12, 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

No incidents to report.

Operations Summary

Waste Shipments: Transuranic waste shipments continue to pick up from the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. Eighteen of nineteen planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were made for the week ending May 1, 2010. Thirteen of the shipments contained exhumed waste from the Accelerated Retrieval Project.

Idaho Cleanup Project

April 22: During routine radiological surveying of workers doing demolition work at the CPP-602 facility at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, five workers were found with external contamination. The workers were successfully decontaminated, and all successfully completed whole body counts and surveys with no internal contamination detected. (EM-ID—CWI-BIC-2010-0005).

May 5: Construction workers at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit project noticed a burning smell, smoke and an electrical arcing at the construction site. The smoke was coming off of a sling around piping being installed. They noticed arcing between the hoist chain of the chain fall and the pipe. They also noticed arcing on the cable of a retractable fall protection line at the point it was contacting the roof beam. They used a fire extinguisher to apply dry chemical to the sling. The workers evacuated the area and notified management of the smoke and the use of the fire extinguisher. The area was secured and roped off, and investigation into the incident was initiated. (EM-ID—CWI-IWTU-2010-0004).

Operations Summary

Voluntary Consent Order (VCO) Project: The VCO project at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) received state concurrence on the final Closure Certification on April 19. This marks the completion of all VCO activities at INTEC, which covered 41 tank system closures under the current contract with CWI. It is the culmination of years of planning, agency interaction, and work to meet the requirements for closures at INTEC.

Idaho National Laboratory

April 22: During receipt inspection of shipping containers at the Specific Manufacturing Capability project, several suspect/counterfeit bolts were discovered. An out-of-service tag was placed on the equipment in question, and the suspect parts will be properly dispositioned. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2010-0004)

April 26: Two subcontractors violated posted radiological control area entry instructions while delivering waste boxes to a storage pad at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex. Because of the low radiological fields present in the area, the two workers did not receive significant exposures. A radiation engineer will complete a radiological exposure questionnaire to document any dose received. (NE-ID—BEA-RTC-2010-0001).

May 5: Several instances of suspect/counterfeit bolts were discovered during a recent outage at the Advanced Test Reactor. Some of the suspect bolts were determined to be non-load bearing and acceptable for use. They will be replaced when future maintenance activities require disassembly of the components. All other suspect bolts were removed pending determination for disposal or destruction. (NE-ID—BEA-ATR-2010-0008).

Operations Summary
INL Develops New Gun Sight Technology: Aiming a weapon is harder than it looks. Shooters need clear views of a distant object (the target) and a near one (the iron sight at the end of the rifle barrel) at the same time. But the eye can’t quite pull this off, as a simple experiment shows: Point at a faraway house or storefront, then try to bring both your finger and the building into focus. One or the other will be blurry.

Idaho National Laboratory’s innovative gun sight technology, the MicroSight, helps the eye solve this problem. The MicroSight, a disc smaller than a dime, brings both the target and the iron sight into simultaneous focus, giving marksmen a better sight picture. The new sight has national-security applications, as it could improve safety and performance for American soldiers. Millions of target shooters and hunters should also benefit.

The unaided eye can focus either on the target (left) or the gun’s iron sight (center). The MicroSight lets it do both (right), giving marksmen a better shot at their quarry.