Advanced Test Reactor Relay Fires - 2017/2018

Image for Advanced Test Reactor Relay Fires - 2017/2018

Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Electrical, Fire Protection, Nuclear/Nuclear Safety, Hazardous Energy Control

The lack of problems with the relays generated a bias that they would not fail and that replacement could continue to be deferred.

The use of a dry chemical fire extinguisher resulted in an extensive cleanup of surrounding relays prior to being put back into service. The dry chemical extinguishers have since been replaced with gaseous extinguishers (such as CO2) that do not require extensive clean up after use.

Labeling the relays clearly as to which electrical circuits they belonged to would have hastened de-energizing them. Relying on personal knowledge to understand what systems de-energize specific relays worked in the 2017 fire but did not allow operators to quickly de-energize the burning relay in the 2018 fire.

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