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Enforcement Letter, WEL-2013-02 - July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Issued to Wastren Advantage, Inc. related to the Loss of Supplied Breathing Air in the Box Breakdown Area of the Transuranic Waste Processing Center located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Health, Safety and Security’s Office of Enforcement and Oversight evaluated the facts and circumstances surrounding a loss of breathing air within the Box Breakdown Area (BBA) of the Transuranic Waste Processing Center (TWPC), which led to the expedited egress of two workers in supplied-air suits and one worker in a supplied-air hood. Wastren Advantage, Inc. (WAI) manages and operates the TWPC, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a contract with DOE and is subject to the provisions of DOE’s Nuclear Safety Management rule pursuant to 10 C.F.R. Part 830 and DOE’s Worker Safety and Health Program rule pursuant to 10 C.F.R. Part 851.

WAI documented this event in the DOE Occurrence Reporting and Processing System (ORPS) (EM-ORO--WAI-TWPC-2013-0004) on March 11, 2013, and WAI reported the 10 C.F.R. Part 830 noncompliances associated with this event in the DOE Noncompliance Tracking System (NTS) (NTS-ORO-WAI--TWPC-2013-0002) on April 1, 2013. The incident is associated with a breathing air system (BAS) in the BBA that consists of two compressors, an air-cooled aftercooler system, an environmental chiller, a water-cooled aftercooler system, and emergency air bottles. The water-cooled aftercooler system relies on the environmental chiller for operation. At the time of the incident, the environmental chiller had been out of service since December 2012, rendering the water-cooled aftercooler system inoperable.