The Hanford Site is currently in the process of an extensive effort to empty and close its radioactive single-shell and double-shell waste storage tanks. Before this can be accomplished, it is necessary to know how much residual material is left in a given waste tank and the chemical makeup of the residue. The objective of Mississippi State University’s Institute for Clean Energy Technology’s (ICET) efforts is to develop, fabricate, and deploy inspection tools for the Hanford waste tanks that will (1) be remotely operable; (2) provide quantitative information on the amount of wastes remaining; and (3) provide information on the spatial distribution of chemical and radioactive species of interest. A collaborative arrangement has been established with the Hanford Site to develop probe-based inspection systems for deployment in the waste tanks. ICET is currently developing an in-tank inspection system based on Fourier Transform Profilometry, FTP. FTP is a non-contact, 3-D shape measurement technique. By projecting a fringe pattern onto a target surface and observing its deformation due to surface irregularities from a different view angle, FTP is capable of determining the height (depth) distribution (and hence volume distribution) of the target surface, thus reproducing the profile of the target accurately under a wide variety of conditions. Hence FTP has the potential to be utilized for quantitative determination of residual wastes within Hanford waste tanks. We have completed a preliminary performance evaluation of FTP in order to document the accuracy, precision, and operator dependence (minimal) of FTP under conditions similar to those that can be expected to pertain within Hanford waste tanks. Based on a Hanford C-200 series tank with camera access through a riser with significant offset relative to the centerline, we devised a testing methodology that encompassed a range of obstacles likely to be encountered “in-tank.” These test objects were inspected by use of FTP and the volume of the test objects determined. The volumes of nondescript test objects were independently determined and were not known to the FTP operators. Several stages of testing are ongoing with successive stages imposing aspects that present increasing difficulty and increasingly more accurate approximations of in-tank environments. We report the Stage 1 results of this multi-stage evaluation of FTP performance.

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