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TA-55 Plutonium Gloved Enclosure Seal Replacement

Project Scope:

  • Los Alamos Lab, TA-55 Plutonium gloved enclosures with leaking window and interconnecting spool gaskets.
  • Previous repair attempts resulted in release of plutonium and evacuation/cleanup.  Defense nuclear safety board calls hearings on incidents.
  • Personnel not properly trained, improper usage of containments and air flow controls.


  • RPS goes on-site with a radiological engineer to evaluate and resolve problems with PU gloved enclosure maintenance operations.
  • Review PU gloved enclosure configurations for design of special radiological containments.
  • Proposed modifications to gloved enclosures to accommodate special containments.
  • Designed and manufactured 14 unique containments for gasket replacement.
  • Wrote procedures incorporating containments into TA-55 maintenance program.
  • Mockup trained TA-55 technicians in proper installation, operation, and removal of containments.
  • Supervised first real plutonium gloved enclosure repair using new containments.
  • Successfully replaced leaking gaskets on 6 gloved enclosures.
  • TA-55 incorporates containment usage as standard maintenance procedure.