Vit Plant receives High-Level Waste (HLW) autosamplers

The Hanford Vit Plant recently received three autosamplers for the High-Level Waste (HLW) Facility. The autosampling system will ensure the glass produced by the Vit Plant meets all regulatory standards and requirements.

When the plant is operational, two of the autosamplers will take samples during the vitrification process and, using capabilities in the Analytical Laboratory, verify that the correct mixture of waste and glass‐forming materials exist. The third autosampler will be used to sample radioactive liquid waste before transferring it to the Pretreatment (PT) Facility.

Approximately 10,000 samples will be analyzed annually from all three waste processing facilities – the PT, HLW and Low-Activity Waste facilities.

High-Level Waste Tested Remotely With Robotic Arms

Waste will be sampled using remotely operated robotic arms inside shielded boxes within the facilities. The samples will be deposited into 15-milliliter bottles, which will be encased in tightly sealed carriers. The specially designed carriers will then be transported to the Analytical Laboratory via a pneumatic transfer system, similar to those used at a bank drive-thru. Stainless steel pipes will run between each facility and the Lab and transport the samples at 25 feet per second.

The autosamplers were designed by Atkins Global (previously EnergySolutions) and fabricated by Mid-Columbia Engineering, both of Richland.

high level waste autosamplers

The autosamplers are currently stored at a Vit Plant warehouse.

autosampler high level waste

An autosampler is prepared to be loaded onto a truck at Mid-Columbia Engineering in Richland, Wash.

high level waste

The autosamplers are loaded onto a truck at Mid-Columbia Engineering for transport to the Vit Plant warehouse.