An improved monitoring system for providing continuous analysis of high-level radioactive waste has been developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers and reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
The system features on-line Raman spectroscopy that quickly generates real-time data and analysis. PNNL researcher, Samuel Bryan, says the monitoring system is capable of simultaneously and continuously quantifying the levels of all the chemically-significant anions within the waste, such as nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, carbonate, chromate, hydroxide, sulfate and aluminate. The total sodium ion concentration was determined independently by modeling inputs from on-line conductivity and density meters.
The system is adaptable to monitoring in a variety of harsh environments. Bryan notes that system components and analytical tools of the process monitor can be tailored to monitor a variety of complex mixtures such as pulp and paper processing liquids, electroplating solutions, as well as radioactive tank wastes.