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Event Notification Report for July 10, 2013

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
07/09/2013 - 07/10/2013

** EVENT NUMBERS **


49164 49166

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Agreement State Event Number: 49164
Rep Org: NE DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE
Licensee: MIDWEST RENEWABLE ENERGY
Region: 4
City: SUTHERLAND State: NE
County:
License #: RS0550
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: TRUDY HILL
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN SHOEMAKER
Notification Date: 07/01/2013
Notification Time: 17:35 [ET]
Event Date: 05/06/2013
Event Time: [CDT]
Last Update Date: 07/01/2013
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
VINCENT GADDY (R4DO)
FSME EVENTS RESOURCE (EMAI)

This material event contains a "Less than Cat 3" level of radioactive material.

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - LOST TRITIUM EXIT SIGNS

The following report was received via email:

"Exit signs - model 2040-50-R-10 WH, serial numbers A99977 and A99997 [each] with 11.5 Curies of H3 [tritium] were in a laboratory. The laboratory was inundated with water from a frozen pipe. The [laboratory] cleanup went down to the studs or iron beams. The facility has made a search [after the cleanup] but have not been able to locate the signs. The facility presumes that the signs were sent to a landfill. The facility will include exit signs in their next safety training, include information concerning exit signs in the Emergency Action Plan, and will make the leadership team aware of the mistake.

"Cause: Inattention to detail.

"Corrective Action: Personnel received additional training."

Nebraska State Item Number: NE130003.

THIS MATERIAL EVENT CONTAINS A "LESS THAN CAT 3" LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1227_web.pdf

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Agreement State Event Number: 49166
Rep Org: PA BUREAU OF RADIATION PROTECTION
Licensee: WHITTAKER CORP - DECOMMISSIONING PROJECT
Region: 1
City: TRANSFER State: PA
County:
License #: PA-1051S
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: DAVE ALLARD
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN SHOEMAKER
Notification Date: 07/01/2013
Notification Time: 18:07 [ET]
Event Date: 06/27/2013
Event Time: 11:15 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 07/01/2013
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
JAMES NOGGLE (R1DO)
FSME EVENTS RESOURCE (EMAI)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - UNPLANNED FIRE AND EXPLOSION AT A REMEDIATION PROJECT SITE

The following report was received via facsimile:

"Notifications: On June 28, 2013 the licensee informed the PA Department of Environmental Protection's [DEP] Central Office of an explosion that occurred the previous night. The event is reportable within 24 hours per 10 CFR40.60(b)(4). [Note: a voice message was left for a DEP staff person who was off from work on the 28th, thus, the delay in notification to NRC.]

"Event Description: The licensee received a call from the Pymatuning Township Fire department's emergency response team at approximately 11:15 [EDT] on June 27, 2013 reporting an explosion inside the operating area of the Whittaker Corp. remediation project site. This is a decommissioning / clean-up site where rare earth metals had been recovered, and the resultant low-level radioactive waste is being removed for license termination. The initial theory is [perhaps] a chemical and exothermic reaction resulted in a contained fire with material being ejected from the waste pile and outside the remediation area boundary. Since the site was shut down and unoccupied at the time of the event, no injuries were reported. The responding fire department did not enter the area; and there are conflicting reports on the use water or other fire-fighting agents. Due to the very low radioactivity concentrations of uranium / thorium series within the waste pile materials - release of licensed material offsite is unlikely. All work at the site has been suspended pending an investigation into the event. Radioactivity surveys and air samples were being made and collected on the 28th to confirm no off site release took place. The material that was ejected from the waste pile during the explosion was surveyed, with no significant activity identified. A sample of this material was sent to an off-site lab to determine a chemical and radiological content. Lastly, the licensee has established a 24 hour fire watch until a cause can be identified. More details will be provided when available.

"Cause of the Event: Currently unknown

"Actions: The licensee has suspended all work, and has restricted access to the area. The PA DEP NW and SW Regional Offices are performing reactive ES&H [Environment, Safety, and Health] and Radiation Protection Program inspections on July 1st and 2nd respectively.

"Media Attention: None at this time."

PA Event Report ID No: PA130016

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013