DOE-Idaho Operations Summary
Issued April 6, 2006
DOE-Idaho Bi-Weekly Operations Summary
For the Period of March 21-April 3, 2006

Environmental Management

Summary of Occurrence Reports

(Note: Date below indicates when notification was made of the incident)

March 20: While a maintenance worker was removing protective clothing after exiting a contaminated area at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility, his respirator airline hose disconnected and blew back into the contaminated area, creating airborne dust. A small amount of contamination was found on the protective clothing, but no contamination was found on the worker after he removed the suit. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2006-0008)

March 21: As part of a standard review, workers identified a potential condition that was not adequately covered by the existing safety analysis at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. Specifically, workers identified the potential for increased consequences of a fire in the Box Opening Gantry Room or Box Line when processing waste containers having a volume greater than 3.2 cubic meters. Waste processing was suspended until appropriate controls could be implemented.

March 27: During a recent crane inspection, material pedigree was questioned for bolts in use on a crane seismic restraint system at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering System. When workers removed a bolt for examination, there was no indication of the material it was made from, thus raising questions about the quality of the bolts. The crane was placed under administrative controls until a final determination could be made on the quality of the bolts.

March 27: A conflict in safety documentation was discovered for carbon steel canisters used to store spent nuclear fuel at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. One safety document states that the maximum weight for the canister is 2,000 pounds,
while an earlier structural analysis places the limit at 1,900 pounds. All lifting of carbon steel canisters was prohibited pending resolution of the discrepancy. (EM-ID-CWI-FUELRCSTER-2006-0008)

March 29: An electrical safety concern was identified during a maintenance inspection of a sampling system at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility. Electricians discovered exposed wires that presented a potential shock hazard. The sampling system was placed out of service pending repairs. No one was injured. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF- 2006-0010)

Operational Status

Cleanup Activities: Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality approved final disposition of the Loss-of-Fluid-Test (LOFT) Reactor Complex on March 24. The alternative selected includes removing all equipment within the complex, demolishing the complex to three feet below grade, backfilling the below-grade structure, and placing an earthen cap over the complex. Waste Shipments: As of March 25, 2006, the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project has shipped 6,493 cubic meters of transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal. With 3,100 cubic meters shipped earlier, the INL has now shipped 9,593 cubic meters of waste to WIPP.

Nuclear Energy

Summary of Occurrence Reports

March 20: An eyebolt suspending an electric hoist used to move heavy materials in a large glovebox (sealed cell used to process radioactive materials) failed, causing the hoist to drop eight feet, and the load about 2.5 feet to the floor of the glovebox. The hoist, located at the Materials and Fuels Complex, was moving metal ingots in preparation for loading the ingots into metal drums. No one was injured, the cell remained sealed, and no radioactive contamination was released.

Operational Status

National Security Work: The INL’s work in national security has grown significantly in recent years, rising from about $20 million in Fiscal Year 2002 to about $80 million in this fiscal year. The INL has 90 active research projects aimed at protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, about 120 geared toward developing and deploying systems, technologies and techniques for the global war on terror, and about 80 projects focused on nuclear nonproliferation.