DOE Operating Experience Summary 2015-01
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Type:  DOE OPEX

Publisher:  U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security

Date: 

Topics:  Chemical Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Waste Management, Work Management/Planning

Explosion at the Nonproliferation Test and Evaluation Complex

On June 13, 2014, a drum, believed to be empty, exploded and injured two workers at the Nonproliferation and Test Evaluation Complex at the Nevada National Security Site. As part of a Work for Others project, the workers intended to obtain a drum of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) but had to move a second drum to access it. The drum that had to be moved previously held IPA. Personnel believed they had emptied the drum 2 days before the incident. However, movement, combined with accumulated organic peroxides in the drum, oxygen, and high ambient temperatures, resulted in the unplanned detonation. A local Accident Investigation Board later determined that the accident could have been prevented by implementation of both a comprehensive Chemical Safety Lifecycle Management program and a robust facility-specific Chemical Hygiene Plan.

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