New technology monitors nuclear waste storage

3.The meaning for the operator


Operators are an important part of the HAIS system.

The system was developed to identify significant changes. Inspection efficiency is improved by highlighting only those areas where significant changes have occurred and, most importantly, by not showing the operator areas where there has been little or no change.

NPL says this means the system can do what computers do best: identify changes.

It then allows the human operator to make decisions about the nature and significance of the changes. This allows comparative checks against current safety cases, which require skilled inspectors to determine, without the boredom of investigating areas that have not changed.

Alternative techniques using machine learning to replace manual operations are possible, but in practice they require too much data on different types of defects to allow reliable detection and confidence in black box decision making.

There are many advantages to deploying HAI to monitor and inspect nuclear waste stockpiles, including a better understanding of the evolution of stored nuclear material and how it affects long-term safe storage.

For example, by measuring the properties of materials on site, a better understanding can be gained of the heat generated by the material and the heat that the storage system needs to withstand. These metrics will ultimately support storage strategies.

For existing storage, HAIS can provide a better understanding of how the storage environment changes across a range of scenarios with different waste packages. Accurate on-site measurements increase the predictability of the environment and therefore help to infer nuclear waste changes.

The system also provides the tools to monitor the environment to provide an early indication of deviations from the predicted environment, including temperature, humidity and chlorides. Knowledge of long-term optimum storage conditions for a range of products allows the system to provide information that is critical to influencing storage design and improving existing storage conditions.

Post time: Dec-17-2021