IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – EM and cleanup contractor Fluor Idaho have safely finished processing remaining waste at an Idaho National Laboratory Site facility following a breach of four drums containing radioactive sludge there last year.
There were no injuries and no external release of radioactive materials during the drum incident and subsequent cleanup and waste processing at the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) V facility. Prior to the 2018 incident, crews had safely processed and repackaged more than 9,500 drums of radioactive and hazardous waste at ARP V.
The design of the ARP V facility and its air filtration systems, which include high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration and reverse airflow, ensured containment of the waste material and protection of the environment.
With the successful completion of ARP V cleanup and waste processing, EM has directed Fluor Idaho to plan the closure of ARP V and focus on waste processing operations at the nearby ARP VII facility. Like ARP V, ARP VII has extensive air filtration and reverse airflow systems, pulling air from the outside and channeling all exhaust through the facility’s HEPA filters, trapping contaminants.
EM is scheduled to safely complete the processing and repackaging of 2,800 drums of radioactive sludge waste at ARP VII late next year. All safety protocols and lessons from the 2018 incident will be implemented at ARP VII as workers there safely process drums and ensure waste is compliant for out-of-state disposal.
Workers at ARP VII recently finished reducing the size of large, contaminated legacy waste boxes and debris and repackaging them for shipment to permanent disposal facilities.