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Title: Discovery of the First Leaking Double-Shell Tank - Hanford Tank 241-AY-102

Full text - Long Abstract. A routine video inspection of the annulus region of double-shell tank 241-A Y-102 in August of 2012 indicated the presence material in the annulus space between the primary and secondary liners. A comparison was made to previous inspections performed in 2006 and 2007. which indicated that a change had occurred. The material was observed at two locations on the floor of the annulus and one location at the top of the annulus region where the primary and secondary top knuckles meet (RPP-ASMT-53793). Subsequent inspections were performed. leading to additional material observed on the floor of the annulus space in a region that had not previously been inspected (WRPS-PER-2012-1363). The annulus Continuous Air Monitor (CAM) was still operational and was not indicating elevated radiation levels in the annulus region. When the camera from the inspections was recovered. it also did not indicate increased radiation above minimum contamination levels (WRPS-PER-2012-1363). A formal leak assessment team was established August 10, 2012 to review tank 241-AY-102 construction and operating histories and to determine whether the material observed in the annulus had resulted from a leak in the primary tank. The team consisted of individuals from Engineering. Base Operations andmore » Environmental Protection. As this was a first-of-its-kind task. a method for obtaining a sample of the material in the annulus was needed. The consistency of the material was unknown.and the location of a majority of the material was not conducive to using the sampling devices that were currently available at Hanford. A subcontractor was tasked with the development fabrication.and testing of a sampling device that would be able to obtain multiple samples from the material on the annulus floor. as well as the material originating from a refractory air-slot near the floor of the annulus space. This sampler would need to be able to collect and dispense the material it collected into a sample jar retrieval device for transportation of the material to the 222-S laboratory on the Hanford site for analysis. The subcontractor agency fabricated a remote underground sampler by modifying off-the-shelf robotics and parts. Limited testing of the sampler was conducted using a mock-up of the tank annulus and one simulated material type -a salt block. The mock-up testing indicated that the sampler would be able to maneuver within the confined space and that the device worked with full functionality. A total of six weeks had passed from initiation to implementation of the new sampler in the 241-AY-102 tank annulus. Initial sample material was obtained from the annulus floor using the Off-Riser Sampler System that has been used at Hanford tor years to obtain material from the primary tanks. This could be used at the location near Riser 83 since the material was collected directly from the annulus floor and not from a location on the wall or behind a pipe, as was needed from the two locations near Riser 90. After obtaining a small sample of the material on the annulus floor.this sampler sustained terminal damage due to conduit pipes it had to transverse in order to collect and recover material from this location. Several issues were also encountered during deployment of the new sampler into the annulus near Riser 90. These included: Difficulty fitting the sampler down the 12-inch riser into the annulus due to a small tolerance in the size of the sampler; Failure of sampler components and functions during deployment including the camera. pneumatics.and bearing seals; Delays in the field due to supporting equipment issues including cables. cameras. and scaffolding; and, Low recovery of sample material obtained for analysis. The complications that occurred during deployment and use of the new sampler during the sampling event ultimately resulted in lower recovery of material from these locations in the annulus than was obtained using the Off-Riser Sampler System and limited the analyses that could be performed for determining the origin of the material. Following completion of the sample analyses and the assessment of its construction history and use. there was a consensus among the leak assessment team members that two of the three materials sampled from the annulus floor region were the result of waste leaking from a breach in the primary tank. The probable leak cause was identified as corrosion at high temperatures in a tank whose containment margins had been reduced due to construction difficulties (RPP-ASMT-53793). A formal Lessons Learned was created concerning designing equipment tor unique purposes under time constraints. This document was published in OPEXShare on May 20. 2013. It highlighted some of the issues that arose with the subcontractor sampler development and provided recommendations to prevent a recurrence should this task need to be performed again in the future. The document can be found at« less
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  1. Washington River Protection Systems, Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400381
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2014 Waste Management Symposia, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 2-6 Mar 2014
Research Org:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States