(3) Interviews with programmatic personnel who had worked in the area more than 10 years ago
identified the use of hazardous cleaning solvents on hot cell materials and the routine practice of
flushing liquids and debris down the hot cell drains to the hot waste catch tank.
This information was critical in the planning and execution of the survey and sampling activities. It
ensured that the difficult sampling of the catch tank was sufficient to support the waste disposal issues of
remote-handled, transuranic-mixed waste and ensured adequate planning and preparation for the health
and safety of the workers performing characterization. Without the historical information, it is likely that
a limited survey and sampling effort would have missed the mixed waste issue initially and failed to
quantify the significant quantities of transuranic materials in the underground storage tank. This would
have resulted in a schedule delay of at least 3 months to re-plan, re-sample, and analyze the catch tank
inventory, as well as additional costs and increased potential for worker risk.
Using a Multidisciplined Team for Hazard Identification
A project team was assembled to address the removal of enriched uranium deposits in shutdown process
equipment. An initial hazard analysis had been performed to identify the generic hazards associated with
these activities. Further planning and hazard identification were to be conducted for each task associated
with specific equipment and material removal activities.
The tasks that were identified included the saw-cutting of pipe sections, scraping, vacuuming and
collecting uranium in geometrically safe containers, and welding seals in process openings. A
multidisciplined team, comprising craft personnel, supervisors, health and safety representatives, and
project personnel, was assembled. The team discussed a detailed draft work plan, line-by-line, to
determine its adequacy. Workers suggested modifications to ease or clarify the tasks discussed, and
health and safety personnel provided recommendations on worker protection or removal of unnecessary
requirements. As a result of these discussions, the project had a completed work plan in a minimal
amount of time. Additional hazards were identified and addressed based on facility walkdowns and
subsequent changes were made to the work plan. This information was then used to incorporate health
and safety requirements into the work scope, perform the task hazard analysis, and prepare the subsequent
special permits (i.e., safety work permits, radiological work permits, hot work permits, etc.).