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Report reveals cause of waste-drum incident

After five months of analysis, Fluor Idaho has released a report on the cause of an April 11 accident at the Idaho National Laboratory site.

During the event, four radioactive waste drums experienced excessive pressure and ejected their lids and contents following transuranic waste processing and repackaging. The investigation team determined the drum breach was caused by a reactive metal with radionuclides heating up after coming into contact with air for the first time in 40 years of storage. The heating of the metal started a secondary reaction that caused a rapid rise in pressure inside each drum. That procedure resulted in the ejection of the lids.

The accident happened at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex Accelerated Retrieval Project V facility. Since 2012, the facility has safely processed and repackaged approximately 9,500 drums of sludge-contaminated waste that originated at the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, Colorado.

Fluor Idaho and DOE-Idaho are continuing to identify and implement additional corrective actions.

You can see the full report here.

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