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Real-time Sampling & Analysis of Tank Waste with Remote or On-pipe Monitoring


a.      Real-time Sampling & Analysis of Tank Waste with Remote or On-pipe Monitoring

Introduction: The chemical, radiological, and physical properties of nuclear and hazardous chemical tank waste need to be characterized to meet regulatory requirements and to provide information needed to support decisions and actions related to tank corrosion control (safety basis), industrial hygiene (e.g., worker safety/vapors), retrieval planning (technology selection), waste compatibility assessments for feed staging, waste treatment plant waste acceptance, and tank closure.


Challenge: The current approach to obtaining chemical, radiological, and physical properties of tank waste includes obtaining physical grab/core samples and having them analyzed by an analytical laboratory. The sampling tool that is selected to obtain physical samples typically includes a collection of available sampler technology that includes finger-trap samplers, clamshell samplers, drag samplers, auger samplers, core samplers, etc.


Data quality objectives (DQOs) for regulator-driven tank waste characterization are challenging to meet with physical sampling because:

·         physical samples are often not representative of the tank volume that was sampled;

·         a long backlog in sample collection and laboratory analysis can exist that slows turn-around times; and

·         the cost to open a tank and perform sample collection and transport can be very high.


Need: Innovative sample analysis instrumentation is needed that can be deployed in waste tanks or in/on waste transfer slurry lines to perform in-situ/real-time analysis of Hanford waste. For example, instrumentation that can:

·         perform density, viscosity and rheology measurements in pipes;

·         perform particle size and concentration measurements in pipes;

·         detect and quantify interstitial liquid levels in tanks;

·         detect and quantify halides such as fluoride, chloride and iodine in tanks/pipes;

·         detect and quantify total organic carbon in tanks/pipes; and

·         detect and quantify arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, mercury, copper lead, chromium, cyanide, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, vanadium, zinc and other constituents.


Public Benefit: Adding real-time, in-situ sampling and analysis of hazardous waste in tanks and pipes with remote on-pipe or in-tank monitoring instrumentation will decrease worker exposure to tank waste hazards, such as harmful vapors, by decreasing the number of physical samples that must be taken collected from waste tanks/pipes, transported to an analytical laboratory, and handled during sample analysis. Real-time, in-situ sampling and analysis within tank farms is also expected to support more efficient tank farm and waste treatment/processing facility operations by reducing analysis time from weeks/months to seconds/minutes. More efficient operations will lead to closure of the ageing waste tank (and pipe) infrastructure as early as possible, which is in the best interest of the environment’s and public’s health and safety.


Questions – Contact: Latrincy Bates, or Grover Chamberlain,


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