Fiber optic cone penetrometer raman probe for in situ chemical characterization of the Hanford underground waste tanks Page: 3 of 17
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FIBER OPTIC CONE PENETROMETER RAMAN PROBE FOR IN SITU CHEMICAL
CHARACTERIZATION OF THE HANFORD UNDERGROUND WASTE TANKS
Kevin R. Kyle and Steven B. Brown
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
P.O. Box 808, L-171
Livermore, California USA 94551
A field hardened fiber optic Raman probe has been developed for cone
penetrometer deployment in the Hanford underground chemical waste
storage tanks. The corrosive chemical environment of the tanks, as well as
Hanford specific deployment parameters, provide unique challenges for the
design of an optical probe.
There exist 177 underground storage tanks at the US Department of Energy (DOE)
Hanford site that have been used by the DOE complex to process and store over 100
million gallons of chemical and mixed chemical/radioactive wastes generated from nuclear
weapons and fuels production.(1,2) The DOE is currently in the process of retrieving,
treating, and safely disposing of the wastes stored in underground tanks. Prior to retrieval
and treatment, characterization is required of the wastes stored within the tanks to identify
the chemical and radioactive composition to determine if waste transfer can occur within
normal safety rules involving flammability, corrosiveness, and chemical compatibility.(3,4)
Examination of both the basic physical and chemical parameters of the tank wastes are
required to ensure continued operability during waste transfer and
concentration/minimization. Current techniques of tank waste analysis involve the removal
of core samples from the tanks, followed by costly and time consuming wet analytical
laboratory testing.(5) Savings in both cost and time could be realized in techniques that
involve in situ probes for direct analysis of tank materials in their native environment.
A powerful in-situ technique for tank waste characterization is the in-tank cone
penetrometer, which brings interrogative methods to the tank waste matrix in its native
environment, providing faster, safer, and more cost effective tank characterization both in
terms of time and effort. The penetrometer provides a method of depth profiling of the tank
waste in a few hours from surface to bottom. Applied Research Associates (ARA) was
contracted by DOE Hanford to construct and deploy a 35 ton cone penetrometer and an
associated instrument and control trailer for use in characterizing the properties of the
slurries, sludges, and saltcakes of the tank farm. The sensors built into the penetrometer
by ARA provide measurements of penetrometer tip pressure, sleeve friction, pore pressure,
tip temperature, penetration depth, penetrometer inclination, and magnetic bottom detection.
These sensors provide characterization of the physical properties of the tank wastes which
impact operational considerations for tank waste retrieval as described in the Tank Farms
Waste Compatibility Program Data Quality Objective (DQO).(3). Additionally, Science
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Kyle, K.R. & Brown, S.B. Fiber optic cone penetrometer raman probe for in situ chemical characterization of the Hanford underground waste tanks, article, March 3, 1997; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc680427/m1/3/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.