Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Measurement of moisture content in unknown mixtures using the freezing process Public Deposited

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  • Safety concerns at the Hanford Reservation require a way to measure the moisture content of material contained in the high level radioactive waste tanks. The freezing of material next to a probe was proposed by scientists at Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) as one approach to solve this problem. It was theorized that due to water's high latent heat of fusion, the local temperature profile of the waste during the freezing period should vary significantly with moisture content. Experiments were conducted at PNL to test the Phase Change Calibration Probe's ability to measure moisture in a simulating material. The initial results looked promising in the probe's ability to distinguish between various moisture contents. Computer modeling was performed at Oregon State University (OSU) to validate the results of the PNL experiments. After several models were tested it was determined that the computer results could not match the experimental results. Several questions were raised from the modeling about the true cause of the PNL results. To explore the questions raised by the modeling, controlled experiments were also undertaken at OSU with various mixtures of water and waste simulant. Using a facility designed to handle the requirements of the testing program, data was collected and analyzed for several waste mixtures, ranging from pure simulant to pure water samples. The results of the experiments showed that the analysis technique used by PNL can be confounded by changes in the coolant temperature between tests. We also showed that the overall trend of the tests appeared to be consistent with the hypothesis, however the resultant effect from freezing was not large enough to easily discriminate between certain moisture levels. Of significant concern was the observed moisture threshold level, below which no notable thermal effect was measured. Since the region of greatest interest and concern lies below this point, it was concluded that the probe would probably not perform in the region of greatest interest for the waste tanks.
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  • 1996-06
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Kaylee Patterson (kdpscanner@gmail.com) on 2012-11-01T21:45:29Z No. of bitstreams: 1 PaghRichardT1996.pdf: 4246041 bytes, checksum: 597699ed23847dee017a499708886eb7 (MD5)
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