/Robotic NDA of Holdup Deposits in Gaseous Diffusion Piping by Gamma Assay of Uranium-235

Robotic NDA of Holdup Deposits in Gaseous Diffusion Piping by Gamma Assay of Uranium-235

Heather Jones, William Whittaker, Oleg Sapunkov, Taylor Wilson, David Kohanbash, Siri Maley, James Teza, Eugene Fang, Max McHugh, Ian Holst, Christopher Ng and Russell Riddle
Conference Paper, Waste Mangement, March, 2018

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This research exploits in-pipe access to develop robotically deployed, high-cadence, accurate, certain, paperless assay of U-235 in holdup deposits within process piping. Prior radiometric assay from outside the pipes suffered from manual deployment challenges, attenuation of detection through pipe walls, long counting times, approximate modeling, and shortfalls associated with transcription and human interpretation. These downsides limited the speed, quality, and economy of assay resulting in vast cost and budget consequences to D&D. D&D of outdated facilities cuts into these pipes as part of the demolition process, creating the unique, previously unexploited possibility of robotic in-pipe assay.

The assay collimates radiation emanating from all but a short segment of pipe wall from reaching a gamma detector. Hence, the detector only views and measures source from a short segment of pipe at a given time. This is achieved by an innovative pair of collimating discs that are coaxial with the pipe and positioned fore and aft of the detector.

The detector assembly is translated through pipes by an autonomous mobile robot. Beyond radiometric assay of U-235, the robot images and geometrically models the pipe interior and deposit appearance. The robot is recovered from the same pipe opening from which it is launched, hence it drives the same distance out and back, measuring the same deposits twice. This achieves redundant radiometric and odometric measurements which adds further to statistical significance of the method.

BibTeX Reference
author = {Heather Jones and William Whittaker and Oleg Sapunkov and Taylor Wilson and David Kohanbash and Siri Maley and James Teza and Eugene Fang and Max McHugh and Ian Holst and Christopher Ng and Russell Riddle},
title = {Robotic NDA of Holdup Deposits in Gaseous Diffusion Piping by Gamma Assay of Uranium-235},
booktitle = {Waste Mangement},
year = {2018},
month = {March},
keywords = {Radiation, Uranium, U235, RadPiper, PCAMS, NDA},