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Thermal Measurement and Modelling of Nuclear Waste in the Double Shell Tanks at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site using miniature sensors
Keywords: Infrared sensors, Thermal modeling, Nuclear applications
Double Shell Tanks (DST) at the Hanford Site in Washington store nuclear waste and are to be tested for structural integrity. Depending on the chemical composition and pH of the waste, certain temperature requirements are specified. However, the DSTs are complex tanks and the methods used to find the temperature data, chemical composition, and other parameters provide results that are often uncertain. Temperature measurements are usually recorded more than 10 feet away from the walls mainly due to technical constraints. Results are fed into basic simulation models to get an estimation of the wall conditions. Hence, there exists a need to accurately measure and model the wall and inside temperatures. To resolve the issue, the authors attempt the use of a miniature pyrometer (Infrared (IR) temperature sensor) to be deployed into the annulus of the DSTs. The IR sensor can be mounted on an annulus inspection camera or an ultrasonic testing crawler for temperature measurement of the outer wall for the DSTs. Further, advanced heat transfer based thermal models will be developed (using multi-physics software COMSOL) for accurate prediction of the nuclear waste temperatures in the tanks. Successful implementation of the pilot scale testing would result in the deployment of the technology for testing the nuclear waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Washington.
Dr. Aparna Aravelli, Research Specialist II
Florida International University
Miami, FL

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