Remote inspection of a 46-year-old buried high-level waste storage tank
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This paper describes the remote ultrasonic (UT) examinations of a high-level radioactive waste (HLW) storage tank at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The inspections, carried out by E.R. Holland, R.W. Vande Kamp, and J.B. Elder, were performed from the contaminated, annular space of the 46-year-old, inactive, 1.03 million gallon waste storage tank. A steerable, magnetic wheel wall crawler was inserted into the annular space through small (6 in., or 150 mm, diameter) holes/risers in the tank top. The crawler carried the equipment used to simultaneously collect data with up to four UT transducers and two cameras.
The purpose of this inspection was to verify corrosion models and to investigate the possibility of previously unidentified corrosion sites or mechanisms. The inspections included evaluation of previously identified leak sites, thickness mapping, and crack detection scans on specified areas of the tank. No indications of reportable wall loss or pitting were detected. All thickness readings were above minimum design tank-wall thickness, although several small indications of thinning were noted. The crack detection and sizing examinations revealed five previously undetected indications, four of which were only partially through-wall. The cracks that were examined were found to be slightly longer than expected but still well within the flaw size criteria used to evaluate tank structural integrity.
Keywordsautomated ultrasonic P-scan remote inspection stress corrosion crack ultrasonic waste tank
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