May 13, 2009
Enforcement Letter issued to UT-Battelle, LLC related to a Radioactive Material Release at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The Department of Energy's Office of Enforcement within the Office of Health, Safety and Security has conducted an evaluation of the deficiencies described in Noncompliance Tracking System (NTS) report NTS-ORO--ORNL-X10PHYSICS-2008-000 1, Operational Emergency at Building 6000, Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility. Our evaluation included a review of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Management Investigation Team Report dated November 19, 2008, the associated corrective action plan, and discussions with site personnel.
The subject NTS report described a series of deficiencies at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF) that resulted in the release of short-lived radioactive noble gases into the occupied areas of the facility. The releases occurred during July 26 - 28, 2008, and resulted in the personal contamination to six ORNL Physics Division employees, with a maximum of 64,500 dpm/l00cm2 on the hand of a Radiological Control Technician. There was no measurable dose to personnel from this event; however, this was fortuitous and exposures could have been significantly higher.