International Climbing Machines has won a project to inspect the double-walled radioactive waste tanks at the Department Of Energy Hanford Facility in Richland, Washington.
The mission of the ICM Climber is to remotely measure and locate corrosion, deterioration and/or cracks that might exist on the inside tank walls. The ICM Climber will be outfitted with on-board EMAT sensors that measure the degree of corrosion (or lack thereof) on the rear side of the steel walls of the tanks. EMAT sensors are a type of Ultrasonic Testing (UT) method that gives highly detailed measurements of the condition of tank walls. The ICM Climber is also outfitted with an 18 inch wide silicon carbide cleaning brush to remove rust from the tank walls. The ICM Climber with both EMAT sensors, cleaning brush and onboard cameras weighs less than 55 pounds and is controlled by a control station 180 feet away. The tanks are underground dual-walled tanks 75 ft (23 m) in diameter.
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