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Friday, October 27, 2017

Successful decontamination

The final RFP for the new M&O for LANL came out this week from NNSA, followed by a weekly report from the DNFSB indicating that work control problems are not yet resolved in the plutonium facility

Radioactive material was released last month when pipefitters at Los Alamos National Laboratory removed a plug from a service panel on a sealed glovebox in the lab’s plutonium facility, according a report by an independent federal safety panel.

“All three workers were contaminated on their protective clothing,” including one on his skin in the chest area, “which was successfully decontaminated,” says the report posted by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s Los Alamos staff.

The safety board report says two pipefitters, accompanied by a radiological control technician, were replacing elbows on the service panel with shorter versions when the plug was removed because was interfering with turning one of the elbows. “This was the same work crew and glovebox involved” in another recent, previously reported contamination event, the report states.

In the previous event, access to the plutonium facility and movement of all personnel were suspended for about two hours after radiological control technicians found contamination on the protective clothing of several workers.

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