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UPDATED INFORMATION 2:17 PM Sodium fire reported at the INL near Idaho Falls

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By Paul Johnson

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A sodium fire is burning at a building inside the Materials and Fuels Complex on the Idaho Laboratory site this morning. The Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory emergency operations center has been activated according to a news release issued by the INL. The release says the building that is involved is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project. All employees are accounted for and have been relocated a safe distance away from the event.

UPDATED INFORMATION AS OF 2:17 PM FRIDAY:
Emergency personnel continue to respond to a sodium reaction on the INL site.

Here is the new information:

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center reports that the CWI employee has been released from observation. After a thorough examination to check for potential injury, physicians report no physical evidence of any injury.
CWI operations personnel and firefighters have reentered the building to verify the condition of the process equipment and the safety of the facility.
The Idaho Cleanup Project process for the treatment of sodium involves the intentional reaction of the sodium with moisture which is done in a controlled configuration as part of normal operations for this project.
The cause of this specific reaction is still being evaluated.

Background Information:

Employees working in this area are involved in the demolition and dismantlement activities in support of Idaho Cleanup efforts.
The Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) involves the safe, environmental cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory site, which has been contaminated with waste generated from World War II-era conventional weapons testing, government-owned research and defense reactors, laboratory research, and defense missions at other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites.

Information previously reported:
One Idaho Cleanup Project employee was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for evaluation of burns.
Ten other employees have been evaluated on scene by medical personnel and released.
The fire may have been caused by a sodium reaction. Right now, there is no evidence of continued reaction or fire.
The building involved is the Sodium Boiler Building (766).
Employees that were working in the building and immediate vicinity have been evacuated. All other employees in the MFC complex have been told to remain inside the buildings.
All BEA and CWI (Idaho Cleanup) employees have been accounted for at MFC.
INL emergency responders are responding to the incident.
The building where the incident occurred is owned and operated by the Idaho Cleanup Project.
State, county and tribal officials have been notified.
This is not a radiological incident.
There is no risk to the public.


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