Vapor Monitoring & Detection System Technologies

An enhanced vapor monitoring and detection system (VMDS) is being developed to detect and monitor vapor emissions and potential exposures experienced in the Hanford tank farms. The program began through a needs analyses performed by the Chemical Vapor Solutions Team (CVST), including field operators, engineers, and scientists. The team identified continuous, near real-time measurements of tank farm vapors, meteorological conditions, and the ability to respond effectively using the information as enhancements. WRPS identified technology solutions from industry, national laboratories, and academia with a technology exchange. Technology Maturation Plan for the Tank Farm Vapors Monitoring and Detection System (RPP-PLAN_59972, Rev. 0)

The monitoring technologies include:

The Goal

The goal of the technology program is to advance from response to predict the vapor hazards and tailor the protective measures.

The VMDS has been through bench-scale testing at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The VMDS was demonstrated on a pilot scale at the A Tank Farm and the AP Tank Farm at the Hanford Site.

Event-notification system

(tested at tank farms)

WRPS tested an event-notification system in Hanford’s AP Tank Farm that will be integrated with the tank farm emergency notification systems. The system is designed to improve the capability to notify workers and direct them to safety if an unexpected event occurs.

In this pilot demonstration, four new towers supporting speakers were strategically placed outside the farm. The notification system is designed so workers will hear instructions even while wearing SCBA, behind equipment, or working in or near a crane. It also features a flashing strobe light to provide a visual prompt if an event should occur.

When an event triggers a notification, an announcement is made using the speaker system and the existing radio system simultaneously. The system can be heard throughout and just outside the AP Tank Farm complex.

The existing event notification system for tank farms is limited to use of handheld radios. The new system is intended to improve in-farm communication. The pilot program was a great success, and the plan is all 18 tank farms upgraded with the new PA systems which was completed in the summer 2018.

The pilot units located in AP farms will continued to be utilized for event notification until the permanent systems can be installed. The tank farms that currently have the PA systems will not experience an interruption of service during the transition from the temporary pilot units to the permanent PA systems. The permanent systems have been installed across the tank farms.