Remote Characterization of Radiologically Contaminated Pipelines using Reactive Gaseous Tracers

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Vista Engineering Technologies, LLC
1355 Columbia Park Trail
Richland, WA 99352
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
902 Battelle Blvd.
Richland, WA 99354
Institution POC


Current pipeline characterization approaches at former DOE nuclear facilities generally require either the removal of sections of the pipeline for direct measurements or the use of remote crawlers for taking samples. In order to reduce deactivation and decommissioning costs, improved remote characterization techniques are needed to evaluate these pipelines, which may have residual radiological contamination. These techniques must determine whether or not contamination exists within the pipeline and at what level, while the pipeline is still in place. This project will develop, evaluate, and demonstrate reactive gaseous tracers that permanently change form when exposed to radiological contamination. Once specific tracers are identified and their reactive properties are quantified, they can be utilized with a previously developed pipeline characterization approach to determine, for pipelines of any diameter and with any number of bends and size reductions, if the pipeline is contaminated. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should benefit all sites within the DOE complex and also should be applicable to other contaminants, with appropriate tracer selection, throughout various industries that either are removing piping or must ensure a pipeline is sufficiently clean prior to starting another batch run.