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Title: MINIMIZING GLOVEBOX GLOVE BREACHES, PART IV: CONTROL CHARTS

Abstract

At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Plutonium Facility, plutonium. isotopes and other actinides are handled in a glovebox environment. The spread of radiological contamination, and excursions of contaminants into the worker's breathing zone, are minimized and/or prevented through the use of glovebox technology. Evaluating the glovebox configuration, the glovebo gloves are the most vulnerable part of this engineering control. Recognizing this vulnerability, the Glovebox Glove Integrity Program (GGIP) was developed to minimize and/or prevent unplanned openings in the glovebox environment, i.e., glove failures and breaches. In addition, LANL implement the 'Lean Six Sigma (LSS)' program that incorporates the practices of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma technologies and tools to effectively improve administrative and engineering controls and work processes. One tool used in LSS is the use of control charts, which is an effective way to characterize data collected from unplanned openings in the glovebox environment. The benefit management receives from using this tool is two-fold. First, control charts signal the absence or presence of systematic variations that result in process instability, in relation to glovebox glove breaches and failures. Second, these graphical representations of process variation detennine whether an improved process is under control. Further, control charts are usedmore » to identify statistically significant variations (trends) that can be used in decision making to improve processes. This paper discusses performance indicators assessed by the use control charts, provides examples of control charts, and shows how managers use the results to make decisions. This effort contributes to LANL Continuous Improvement Program by improving the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and formality of glovebox operations.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
985887
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-07-0783
TRN: US1006265
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WASTE MANAGEMENT 2007 SYMPOSIUM ; 200702 ; TUCSON
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61; 99; ACTINIDES; CONFIGURATION; CONTAMINATION; DECISION MAKING; EFFICIENCY; GLOVES; INSTABILITY; LANL; MANAGEMENT; MANUFACTURING; OPENINGS; PERFORMANCE; PLUTONIUM; RESPIRATION; VULNERABILITY; WASTE MANAGEMENT

Citation Formats

COURNOYER, MICHAEL E., LEE, MICHELLE B., and SCHREIBER, STEPHEN B.. MINIMIZING GLOVEBOX GLOVE BREACHES, PART IV: CONTROL CHARTS. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
COURNOYER, MICHAEL E., LEE, MICHELLE B., & SCHREIBER, STEPHEN B.. MINIMIZING GLOVEBOX GLOVE BREACHES, PART IV: CONTROL CHARTS. United States.
COURNOYER, MICHAEL E., LEE, MICHELLE B., and SCHREIBER, STEPHEN B.. Mon . "MINIMIZING GLOVEBOX GLOVE BREACHES, PART IV: CONTROL CHARTS". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/985887.
@article{osti_985887,
title = {MINIMIZING GLOVEBOX GLOVE BREACHES, PART IV: CONTROL CHARTS},
author = {COURNOYER, MICHAEL E. and LEE, MICHELLE B. and SCHREIBER, STEPHEN B.},
abstractNote = {At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Plutonium Facility, plutonium. isotopes and other actinides are handled in a glovebox environment. The spread of radiological contamination, and excursions of contaminants into the worker's breathing zone, are minimized and/or prevented through the use of glovebox technology. Evaluating the glovebox configuration, the glovebo gloves are the most vulnerable part of this engineering control. Recognizing this vulnerability, the Glovebox Glove Integrity Program (GGIP) was developed to minimize and/or prevent unplanned openings in the glovebox environment, i.e., glove failures and breaches. In addition, LANL implement the 'Lean Six Sigma (LSS)' program that incorporates the practices of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma technologies and tools to effectively improve administrative and engineering controls and work processes. One tool used in LSS is the use of control charts, which is an effective way to characterize data collected from unplanned openings in the glovebox environment. The benefit management receives from using this tool is two-fold. First, control charts signal the absence or presence of systematic variations that result in process instability, in relation to glovebox glove breaches and failures. Second, these graphical representations of process variation detennine whether an improved process is under control. Further, control charts are used to identify statistically significant variations (trends) that can be used in decision making to improve processes. This paper discusses performance indicators assessed by the use control charts, provides examples of control charts, and shows how managers use the results to make decisions. This effort contributes to LANL Continuous Improvement Program by improving the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and formality of glovebox operations.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 05 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Feb 05 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Plutonium Facility, plutonium isotopes and other actinides are handled in a glovebox environment. The spread of radiological contamination, and excursions of contaminants into the worker's breathing zone, are minimized and/or prevented through the use of glovebox technology. Evaluating the glovebox configuration, the glovebox gloves are the most vulnerable part of this engineering control. Recognizing this vulnerability, the Glovebox Glove Integrity Program was developed to minimize and/or prevent unplanned openings in the glovebox environment, e.g., glove failures and breaches. In addition, LANL implement the 'Lean Six Sigma (LSS)' program that incorporates the practices ofmore » Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma technologies and tools to effectively improve administrative and engineering controls and work processes. One tool used in LSS is the use of control charts, which is an effective way to characterize data collected from unplanned openings in the glovebox environment. The benefit management receives from using this tool is two-fold. First, control charts signal the absence or presence of systematic variations that result in process instability, in relation to glovebox glove breaches and failures. Second, these graphical representations of process variation determine whether an improved process is under control. Further, control charts are used to identify statistically significant variations (trends) that can be used in decision making to improve processes. This paper discusses performance indicators assessed by the use control charts, provides examples of control charts, and shows how managers use the results to make decisions. This effort contributes to LANL Continuous Improvement Program by improving the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and formality of glovebox operations. (authors)« less
  • As a matter of good business practices, a team of glovebox experts from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has been assembled to proactively investigate processes and procedures that minimize unplanned breaches in the glovebox, e.g., glove failures. A major part of this effort involves the review of glovebox glove failures that have occurred at the Plutonium Facility and at the Chemical and Metallurgy Research Facility. Information dating back to 1993 has been compiled from formal records. This data has been combined with information obtained from a baseline inventory of about 9,000 glovebox gloves. The key attributes tracked include those relatedmore » to location, the glovebox glove, type and location of breaches, the worker, and the consequences resulting from breaches. This glovebox glove failure analysis yielded results in the areas of the ease of collecting this type of data, the causes of most glove failures that have occurred, the effectiveness of current controls, and recommendations to improve hazard control systems. As expected, a significant number of breaches involve high-risk operations such as grinding, hammering, using sharps (especially screwdrivers), and assembling equipment. Surprisingly, tasks such as the movement of equipment and material between gloveboxes and the opening of cans are also major contributions of breaches. Almost half the gloves fail within a year of their install date. The greatest consequence for over 90% of glovebox glove failures is alpha contamination of protective clothing. Personnel self-monitoring at the gloveboxes continues to be the most effective way of detecting glovebox glove failures. Glove failures from these tasks can be reduced through changes in procedures and the design of remote-handling apparatus. The Nuclear Materials Technology Division management uses this information to improve hazard control systems to reduce the number of unplanned breaches in the glovebox further. As a result, excursions of contaminants into the operator's breathing zone and excess exposure to the radiological sources associated with unplanned breaches in the glovebox have been minimized. In conclusion, investigations of control failures, near misses, and accidents contribute to an organization's scientific and technological excellence by providing information that can be used to increase its operational safety.« less
  • At the Los Alamos Plutonium Facility, various isotopes of plutonium along with other actinides are handled in a glove box environment. Weapons-grade plutonium consists mainly in Pu-239. Pu-238 is another isotope used for heat sources. The Pu-238 is more aggressive regarding gloves due to its higher alpha-emitting characteristic ({approx}300 times more active than Pu-239), which modifies the change-out intervals for gloves. Optimization of the change-out intervals for gloves is fundamental since Nuclear Materials Technology (NMT) Division generates approximately 4 m{sup 3}/yr of TRU waste from the disposal of glovebox gloves. To reduce the number of glovebox glove failures, the NMTmore » Division pro-actively investigates processes and procedures that minimize glove failures. Aging studies have been conducted that correlate changes in mechanical (physical) properties with degradation chemistry. This present work derives glovebox glove change intervals based on mechanical data of thermally aged Hypalon{sup R}, and Butasol{sup R} glove samples. Information from this study represent an important baseline in gauging the acceptable standards for polymeric gloves used in a laboratory glovebox environment and will be used later to account for possible presence of dose-rate or synergistic effects in 'combined-environment'. In addition, excursions of contaminants into the operator's breathing zone and excess exposure to the radiological sources associated with unplanned breaches in the glovebox are reduced. (authors)« less
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is committed to the protection of the workers, public, and environment while performing work and uses gloveboxes as engineered controls to protect workers from exposure to hazardous materials while performing plutonium operations. Glovebox gloves are a weak link in the engineered controls and are a major cause of radiation contamination events which can result in potential worker exposure and localized contamination making operational areas off-limits and putting programmatic work on hold. Each day of lost opportunity at Technical Area (TA) 55, Plutonium Facility (PF) 4 is estimated at $1.36 million. Between July 2011 and Junemore » 2013, TA-55-PF-4 had 65 glovebox glove breaches and failures with an average of 2.7 per month. The glovebox work follows the five step safety process promoted at LANL with a decision diamond interjected for whether or not a glove breach or failure event occurred in the course of performing glovebox work. In the event that no glove breach or failure is detected, there is an additional decision for whether or not contamination is detected. In the event that contamination is detected, the possibility for a glove breach or failure event is revisited.« less
  • Lead-lined gloves used during the processing of nuclear materials within gloveboxes is an example of a barrier. To help prevent work contamination, current practice includes visual inspection and radiological monitoring of each glove on a regular basis. One administrative control requires radiological workers to monitor their hands upon removal form the glovebox gloves. In reality, either a catastrophic glove failure or the formation of pinholes can cause contamination which is detected after the fact. Real-time monitoring of glove integrity during use would help prevent the spread of contamination, minimize decontamination costs, and protect the glovebox worker. Another benefit of real-timemore » monitoring is remotely alerting proper personnel of a glovebox glove breech. One of the most exciting aspects of this technology is the rapid detection of a breech in the glovebox glove. A puncture to a glove can be detected followed by an alert to a worker in less than a second. The benefits of a real-time monitoring system for glove integrity are immense. Examples of benefits using this new glove are: reducing work stoppage, personnel contamination, glovebox glove replacements, and the filing of costly reports. The primary application of this technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory would be protecting the worker with these newly designed lead-lined gloves.« less