DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period May 6 to May 24, 2010
Issued May 27, 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: Eighteen of 19 planned shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal in the week ending May 21, 2010. Fifteen of these shipments contained formerly buried transuranic waste exhumed and packaged from the Accelerated Retrieval Project.

Idaho Cleanup Project

May 13: While handling spent nuclear fuel at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, a fuel handler’s face and eyes were exposed to a mist of canister residue droplets. The operator’s face and eyes were flushed at a nearby eye wash station, and he was transported to the Central Facility Area medical dispensary for evaluation. The operator suffered no injury and was released back to work without restrictions. Canister handling was suspended until corrective actions could be implemented. (EM-ID—CWI-FUELRCSTER-2010-0003).

Operations Summary

Waste Retrieval: Targeted waste retrieval at the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP)-IV over Pit 5 this week exhumed 0.02 acres and packaged 43 cubic meters of targeted waste. The construction on new retrieval enclosures funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continued at ARP-VI and –VII facilities.

Idaho National Laboratory

May 20: An employee at the Specific Manufacturing Capability Project sustained a head injury when he was struck by a spreader beam bar while conducting a planned maintenance activity. The employee was transported to medical, received stitches and returned to work without restriction. Maintenance activities were curtailed until the incident could be reviewed and corrective actions taken. (NE-ID—BEA-SMC-2010-0005).

Operations Summary

Supporting Space Exploration: The next generation of Mars rovers could have smaller, cheaper, more robust and more sensitive life-detecting instruments, thanks to a new invention by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. The INL team has come up with an efficient new way to generate complex electric fields, which will make it easier to direct ions, or charged particles, along specified paths. The researchers have now filed a patent application for their Total Ion Control method, a key advance in the field of mass spectrometry.

TIC-based ion inlets are lightweight and require little power–both are key for Mars missions.