INL News Release

Date: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
Time: 4:00 p.m.
#4

CWI emergency ends; investigation on cause of incident continues

Here is the new information:
• Employees are now allowed to leave their buildings and will be boarding buses home at the usual time.
• Please note that everyone examined for potential injury has been cleared to return to work.
• Emergency response personnel responded to Friday’s event at the INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex. It is believed that a sodium reaction resulted in a sudden pressure increase which compromised the system integrity. The compromise in the system set off fire alarms in the vicinity. An investigation is continuing.
• CWI crews began treating sodium Thursday in the Sodium Boiler Building by intentionally introducing a liquid into piping containing the metal to force a reaction and render the material safer to package and dispose. Sodium reacts with water or other liquids causing high heat and smoke.
• Emergency responders have reentered the control room of the building, but they have not reentered the boiler room.
• A recovery plan is under way concurrent with a comprehensive investigation.
• The Emergency Operations Center and the Joint Information Center will be standing down at 4 p.m. Media calls after this time should be directed to Erik Simpson at 208-360-0426 or erik.simpson@icp.doe.gov.

Background Information:
• Sodium was used as a coolant for the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II until the early 1990s. When the reactor was shut down, the sodium coolant was drained; however, CWI was tasked with removing residual sodium from the Sodium Boiler Building before demolishing the facility.
• Employees working in this area are involved in the demolition and dismantlement activities in support of Idaho Cleanup efforts.
• The Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) involves the safe, environmental cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory site, which has been contaminated with waste generated from World War II-era conventional weapons testing, government-owned research and defense reactors, laboratory research, and defense missions at other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites.

Information previously reported:
• Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center reports that the CWI employee has been released from observation. After a thorough examination to check for potential injury, physicians report no physical evidence of any injury.
• CWI operations personnel and firefighters have reentered the building to verify the condition of the process equipment and the safety of the facility.
• The Idaho Cleanup Project process for the treatment of sodium involves the intentional reaction of the sodium with moisture which is done in a controlled configuration as part of normal operations for this project.
• The cause of this specific reaction is still being evaluated.
• One Idaho Cleanup Project employee was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for evaluation of burns.
• Ten other employees have been evaluated on scene by medical personnel and released.
• The fire may have been caused by a sodium reaction. Right now, there is no evidence of continued reaction or fire.
• The building involved is the Sodium Boiler Building (766).
• Employees that were working in the building and immediate vicinity have been evacuated. All other employees in the MFC complex have been told to remain inside the buildings.
• All BEA and CWI (Idaho Cleanup) employees have been accounted for at MFC.
• INL emergency responders are responding to the incident.
• The building where the incident occurred is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project.
• State, county and tribal officials have been notified.
• This is not a radiological incident.
• There is no risk to the public.

Please note that INL is the official source for event information. Any information from other sources may be incomplete or inaccurate.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, is standing down.

Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s website at: http://www.inl.gov/

— END —

INL News Release

Date: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
Time: 2:05 p.m.
#3

Response personnel reenter Sodium Boiler Building

Emergency personnel continue to respond to a sodium reaction on the INL site.

Here is the new information:

* Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center reports that the CWI employee has been released from observation. After a thorough examination to check for potential injury, physicians report no physical evidence of any injury.
* CWI operations personnel and firefighters have reentered the building to verify the condition of the process equipment and the safety of the facility.
* The Idaho Cleanup Project process for the treatment of sodium involves the intentional reaction of the sodium with moisture which is done in a controlled configuration as part of normal operations for this project.
* The cause of this specific reaction is still being evaluated.

Background Information:

* Employees working in this area are involved in the demolition and dismantlement activities in support of Idaho Cleanup efforts.
* The Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) involves the safe, environmental cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory site, which has been contaminated with waste generated from World War II-era conventional weapons testing, government-owned research and defense reactors, laboratory research, and defense missions at other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites.

Information previously reported:
* One Idaho Cleanup Project employee was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for evaluation of burns. * Ten other employees have been evaluated on scene by medical personnel and released.
* The fire may have been caused by a sodium reaction. Right now, there is no evidence of continued reaction or fire.
* The building involved is the Sodium Boiler Building (766).
Employees that were working in the building and immediate vicinity have been evacuated. All other employees in the MFC complex have been told to remain inside the buildings.
* All BEA and CWI (Idaho Cleanup) employees have been accounted for at MFC.
* INL emergency responders are responding to the incident.
The building where the incident occurred is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project.
* State, county and tribal officials have been notified.
* This is not a radiological incident.
* There is no risk to the public.

Please note that INL is the official source for event information. Any information from other sources may be incomplete or inaccurate.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s website at: http://www.inl.gov/

— END —

INL News Release

Date: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
Time: 11:30 a.m.
#2

Crews report no visual indication of fire

Emergency personnel continue to respond to a sodium fire on the INL site.

Here is the new information:

* One Idaho Cleanup Project employee was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for evaluation of burns. * Ten other employees have been evaluated on scene by medical personnel and released.
* The fire may have been caused by a sodium reaction. Right now, there is no evidence of continued reaction or fire.
* The building involved is the Sodium Boiler Building (766).
* Employees that were working in the building and immediate vicinity have been evacuated. All other employees in the MFC complex have been told to remain inside the buildings.
* All BEA and CWI (Idaho Cleanup) employees have been accounted for at MFC.

Background Information:

Employees working in this area are involved in the demolition and dismantlement activities in support of Idaho Cleanup efforts.

Information previously reported:
* INL emergency responders are responding to the incident.
* The building where the incident occurred is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project.
* State, county and tribal officials have been notified.
* This is not a radiological incident.

Please note that INL is the official source for event information. Any information from other sources may be incomplete or inaccurate.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s website at: http://www.inl.gov/

— END —

INL News Release

Date: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
Time: 10:30 a.m.
#1

Department of Energy’s Emergency Operations Center is gathering information about a reported incident at the Idaho Site

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated and is gathering information about a reported sodium fire at the Materials and Fuels Complex on the INL Site. The building that is involved in the incident is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project. All employees are accounted for and have been relocated a safe distance away from the event.

When events such as this are reported, DOE activates its EOC as a standard practice to gather information and coordinate site-wide incident responders, as needed.  This news release is being issued to alert you of the reported incident and the EOC activation. Based on the information available, there is no risk of radiological release and there is no risk to the public.

INL fire crews have responded; and state, county and tribal officials are being notified. News release updates will be issued when more information is available. Additional details on the nature of the incident and a preliminary impact assessment will be provided to the media and the public as soon as they are available and confirmed.

Please note that INL is the official source for event information. Any information from other sources may be incomplete or inaccurate.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s website at: http://www.inl.gov/
— END —

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