May 19, 2008

A Fuse That Just Won't Blow

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board's (DNFSB) Los Alamos Report for the week ending April 11, 2008 raises the issue of electrical safety at LANL.
Electrical Safety: An electrical disconnect box at the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility was recently found to contain a length of metal conduit deliberately installed in place of an electrical fuse. The circuit did have over-current protection upstream, but laboratory management is appropriately treating this discovery as a serious event. The institutional electrical safety committee has been consulted and a plan is being developed to perform sampling inspections to characterize the extent of condition. In addition, this event appears to be spurring action to catalogue, prioritize and systematically address other legacy electrical code compliance issues and known deficiencies.
I'm curious what other circuits would have lost power, and for how long, had the next upstream device tripped? Failed to trip? Also, was the next upstream device LANL's or the utility's?

Did KSL install this "fuse" (and how long was it in service)? If so, I think I know why they were kicked off site.

[The fuse in the photo is just an example, not the fuse described in this post.]

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What kind of idiot by-passes a fuse with a hunk of metal? Please find out who did this stupid stunt and fire his sorry ass!

Frank Young said...

Rumor has it that his name is Sparky.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to look at the bright side. (no pun intended). A serious deficiency came to light (again no pun) and the light was shown on it (you get the point). It wasn't covered up.

Anonymous said...

How many other fuses are out there? And where might they be? Sabatoge???

Anonymous said...

To 4:05 PM: there was a PADOPS report issued about another finding at TA-46 ...

Sabotage? Doubtful

Incompetence? Likely (especially if KSL did the work.)

Anonymous said...

Sabatoge or sheer stupidity the end result is the same.. This could prove deadly to some poor soul.

Anonymous said...

"Also, was the next upstream device LANL's or the utility's?"

LANL is its own utility...KSL does hands-on operations of the whole thing down to the wall socket.

Anonymous said...

In the picture it looks like a fuse, just a different color.

Frank Young said...

I don't have a picture of the actual "fuse". This is a photo I found on the web.

If anyone has a photo please send it in.

Anonymous said...

The "fuse" likely is a piece of conduit with the ends smashed flat to fit in the spade lug fittings. Or it could even be a piece of flat stock cut to length and shoved into the fuse holder.