DOE-Idaho Operations Summary
Issued June 25, 2007
DOE-ID Bi-Weekly Summary
For the Period June 1-15, 2007

Environmental Management

Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

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

June 1: Management at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project received a warning letter from the State of Idaho, citing an apparent violation of permits. The apparent violation dealt with a gap in a facility fence, which was discovered by state inspectors in March. The fence was repaired prior to receipt of the warning letter. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2007-0011).

June 8: A fluorescent light fixture in a portable characterization unit fell to the floor in the vicinity of two workers. The portable treatment unit was operated by Central Characterization Project personnel, and is property of the CCP, which is a unit of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. There were no injuries, wiring to the light was safely disconnected, and a follow-up survey found no similar units at other facilities. (EM-ID-BBWI-AMWTF-2007-0012).

Operational Status

Waste Shipments: Through June 9, 2007, 17,335 cubic meters of transuranic waste has been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for disposal. Another 11.10 cubic meters of remote-handled waste, and 8.7 cubic meters of previously-buried waste have also been shipped to WIPP.

Idaho Cleanup Project

June 4: A warning letter from the State of Idaho noted that daily inspections of the Calcine Solid Storage Facility had not been performed from Nov. 9 through Nov. 19, 2006, as required by permit. A causal analysis team was formed to address this issue.

June 5: A one-inch eyebolt failed while lifting a component from the Engineering Test Reactor. The reactor, undergoing decommissioning, is shut down and defueled and the core region is encapsulated in grout. No one was injured, the load was placed in a safe condition and work was stopped pending an evaluation. (EM-ID-CWI-BIC-2007-0002).

June 11: During a review to consolidate all the safety evaluation reports at an irradiated fuel storage facility, a DOE safety analyst discovered that a safety evaluation report control from 2004 was not included in the current version of the approved fuel list. All fuel handling operations were placed on hold until the issue could be resolved and necessary changes to the safety documentation were approved. (EM-ID-CWI-FUELRCSTER-2007-0003).

Operational Status

Waste Tank Grouting: Grouting efforts to permanently close former high-level waste tanks continues at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. Engineered pours, which are designed to trap the remaining waste sediment in the bottom of tanks, allowing it to be removed, are completed in five of seven cleaned tanks. Once the engineered pours are done in all seven tanks, they will be completely filled with grout later this summer.

Dismantlement Project: All structural demolition has been completed on the former Pit 9 facilities. Removal of some concrete pads and foundations of related facilities, remaining salvage of materials and general site cleanup remain. Once the Pit 9 dismantlement and disposal project is complete, the Pit 9 area will be available for final remediation, along with the rest of the buried waste area.

Nuclear Energy

Idaho National Laboratory

June 5: The State of Idaho issued a warning letter following an inspection of two INL facilities: the Central Facilities Area and the Reactor Technologies Complex. At the Central Facilities Area, the state found a plastic container with used oil, which was not labeled as required. At the Reactor Technology Complex, two waste boxes stored in a temporary accumulation area had not been characterized as required. The used oil container was labeled shortly after the inspection, and characterization and disposition of the waste boxes was ongoing at the time of the inspection.

June 7: An electrician received an electrical shock while adjusting a thermostat in the Advanced Test Reactor Critical facility fan room. Work was stopped, the unit heater and thermostat were tagged out of service, and the room was roped off. The electrician was evaluated in the medical dispensary and was released to go back to work. (NE-ID-BEA-ATR-2007-0012).

June 11: Suspect/counterfeit bolts were found in chain hoists in the maintenance repair shop at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility. The hoists were tagged out of service.

June 13: A small fire occurred in a laboratory fume hood at the Reactor Technology Complex. The fire occurred when a chemist was pouring red phosphorous powder from a bag into a metal cylinder, and the material ignited. The INL Fire Department extinguished the fire, and the chemist was transported to the INL medical dispensary for treatment. About 40 employees who were exposed to smoke from the fire were also evaluated and released. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. (NE-ID-BEA-RTC-2007-0003).

Operational Status

Fuel Fabrication: The Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative Glove Box, located at the Materials and Fuels Complex at Idaho National Laboratory began operations on June 13, with the placement of all feedstock to begin metal reactor fuel fabrication in the box. Fuels fabricated in the box will be made from recycled light-water reactor fuels, for use in a fast reactor under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership program.