A Flash in the Pan (UG)

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Official UnderGuide EntrySo anyway, there we were in the middle of our Cavity Decontamination, prior to Lifting the Head from the Reactor...

Three contract Deconners, two Rad Techs, and one FME (Foreign Materials Exclusion) Rep. The objective was to clean off the Upper Cavity terrace of the empty Reactor Pool, paying particular attention to small debris around the Reactor Head assembly. Then we were to go down into the Lower Cavity to remove a rust stain in one corner by vacuuming it up. Lastly, we were to examine the Upender Sump and fish out any debris from the remaining water there.

I'd spent several hours (with the help of the Deconners) scouting up all the materials we'd need to do the work, and staged it all for easy access on the lip of the Cavity. Everyone was dressed out in double PC's (Protective Clothing), except those of us who remained topside to supervise or send additional gear down into the pit. This gave me a vantage point of being able to see most of the activities, as I was on the Fuel Handling Crane that straddles the Cavity. I was also wearing a radio comm set, so I could talk with the Rad Techs down below who were directing the Deconners.

The work had gone well, though it was dragging on a bit longer than we wanted, and the PTB were contacting us to let us know to hurry up a bit. We took that with a grain of salt, as we didn't want to make any mistakes, do what was required, ensure no one got hurt, and that we didn't drop anything into the Cavity where it might become unretrievable. I'd been watching with interest the progress of the lead Rad Tech, the FME Rep and a Deconner in the Lower Cavity by the Sump, but then turned my attention back to the Deconner still working in the Upper Cavity.

Out of the small talk on the headset suddenly came this:



"Was that the flashlight?"

[garbled, expletive deleted]

"Can you reach it with the 'grabber' handle?"


"Okay, I think I've got it."

"It's all wet. Does it still work?"

"Gimme a moment..."

[pregnant pause]

"Yeah, it's okay."

[audible smirk via comm unit]

"So let me get this straight. Our FME guy...dropped the flashlight...into the sump...?"

All's well that ends well. We finished our work just as the Head Crew came in to prepare to lift the Reactor Head, and we'd done all we'd set out to do...plus a little extra!



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