EFCOG Best Practice #154 2018-04-11¢  EFCOG Best Practice #154 How the Success of the Best Practice

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  • EFCOG Best Practice #154

    Best Practice Title: Solar Powered Radioactive Air Environmental Monitoring

    Facility: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

    Points of Contact: J. Matthew Barnett (Radioactive Air Task Lead),

    (509) 371-7774, matthew.barnett@pnnl.gov

    Lynn E. Bisping (Scientist), (509) 371-7121, lynn.bisping@pnnl.gov

    Todd L. Gervais (Environmental Protection Engineer), (509) 371-7767, todd.gervais@pnnl.gov

    Brief Description of Best Practice: Environmental monitoring of ambient air for radioactive material is required as stipulated in the site radioactive air license requirements

    for PNNL. In 2010, a Data Quality Objectives supporting radiological air emissions from the PNNL Site identified preferred ambient air sampling locations; however, utilities were not

    readily available at two locations on the site boundary. Therefore, solar powered environmental monitoring systems were considered as a possible option. PNNL purchased

    two 24-V DC solar powered environmental monitoring systems which consisted of solar panels, battery banks, and sampling units. During an approximate four month performance

    evaluation period, the solar stations operated satisfactorily at an on-site test location. They

    were subsequently relocated to their preferred locations in June 2012 where they continue to function adequately under the conditions found in Richland, Washington.

    The activity is in line with EFCOG Core Function 4: Perform Work Within Controls,

    Principle 7: Operations Authorization

    Why the Best Practice Was Used: In 2010, the preferred ambient air sampling at two of

    the three identified locations were unavailable due to utility constraints. Therefore, two AC powered units (typically consisting of a small housed station containing an air volume

    totalizer, flow controller, and a vacuum pump) were set up at nearby AC powered locations

    until sampling at the preferred locations could commence. Because AC power was not readily available at the new locations, initial proposals involved trenching and laying power

    lines to supply the needed electrical services. This option proved cost prohibitive as well as difficult since it involved the disturbance of biological/culturally sensitive land. The solar

    powered option was evaluated as an effective alternative to AC powered systems based on available data including sun charts and weather patterns.

    What are the Benefits of the Best Practice: The benefits of using the solar powered

    option include its cost effectiveness compared to installing utilities, simplicity of deployment,

    minimal environmental impact, and utilization of green technology. Each system cost roughly $30,000.

    What Problems/Issues were Associated with the Best Practice: The solar powered

    system has more components and electronics resulting in a greater opportunity for failure, and they require periodic maintenance and annual calibration. Solar influence and local

    climate conditions can impact sampling. In particular, winter months result in a gradual loss of battery charge indicating a need for supplemental power or battery charging as

    necessary. Other limitations include a small motor/fan unit which pulls air through the

    sample filter, while smoke and dust can load the filter to the point that ambient air cannot be sampled at the established sample rate of 1.6 cfm over a two-week sample period.

    mailto:matthew.barnett@pnnl.gov mailto:lynn.bisping@pnnl.gov mailto:todd.gervais@pnnl.gov

  • EFCOG Best Practice #154

    How the Success of the Best Practice was measured: During a four month test from February 2012 through June 2012, information was collected daily to determine system

    performance and reliability. At the end of the test period, the solar powered systems were accepted for use and subsequently installed at the preferred sample monitor locations.

    Operation over the past 18 months has shown these instruments to be as reliable as AC powered systems with operations exceeding 85% availability.

    Description of Process Experience Using the Best Practice: See attached slide

    presentation and technical report PNNL-22900.

  • September 26, 2012 1

    Implementation of Solar Powered

    Environmental Monitoring Stations

    J. MATTHEW BARNETT & TODD L. GERVAIS

    Effluent Management Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    PNNL-SA-90725

    EFCOG Best Practice #154

    Attachment 1

  • September 26, 2012 2

    Solar Powered Environmental Monitoring

    We work to assure compliance through

    ACTIVE MONITORING

    and INNOVATIVE IMPLEMENTATION

  • Introduction

    Environmental monitoring of ambient air for

    radioactive material is required as stipulated in our

    site license

    Using the DQO process, monitoring station

    locations were identified

    Monitoring at the site boundary was preferred;

    however, utilities were not readily available

    September 26, 2012 3

    Solar powered environmental

    monitoring stations were considered as

    a possible option over installing utilities

    Solar stations have been nominally

    tested, installed at preferred locations,

    and operational since June 2012

  • Site Description

    The PNNL Site is located just

    north of Richland, WA

    It occupies less than one square

    mile of land

    Semi-arid desert situated at

    approximately 50 degrees N

    longitude

    Offsite emissions are low

    at < 2E-05 mrem for CY 2011

    September 26, 2012 4

  • Three Monitoring Station Sites

    September 26, 2012 5

  • Methods and Equipment

    Two 24-V DC solar powered

    stations were evaluated

    One had a 2” sample filter

    arrangement while the other had

    a 4” filter

    Field tested for ~4 months

    Sample filter collected every 2

    weeks followed by gross alpha

    and beta analysis of the 2” filter

    with the 4” filter held

    Flow rate initially set at 1.5 cfm;

    subsequently set at 1.6 cfm

    September 26, 2012 6

  • Results and Discussion

    Solar powered environmental monitoring supports our sustainable energy initiative options

    Environmental conditions exist, including heat/cold stress, dust/smoke particulates snow/ice, and bird droppings

    Blower operation and sample flow can vary depending on air quality conditions (high particulates)

    Solar Powered System is not as durable as the 120 V system, and extra maintenance is required

    Limited battery life and solar charging ability dependent on time of year

    Analytical results are at or near background levels

    Cost is a major aspect to consider

    September 26, 2012 7

  • Path Forward

    Maintenance and cleaning schedules to be developed

    Continued operational criteria evaluation through spring 2013

    85% availability criteria

    Energy production during low light (winter) conditions

    Trickle charging as a back up to inadequate battery charge

    Utilize in annual reports

    Radioactive Air Emissions Report

    Site Environmental Report

    September 26, 2012 8

  • September 26, 2012 9

    QUESTIONS ???

  • PNNL-22900

    Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830

    EFCOG Best Practice #154 Attachment 2

    Solar Powered Radioactive Air Monitoring Stations JM Barnett TL Gervais LE Bisping October 2013

  • PNNL-22900

    Solar Powered Radioactive Air Monitoring Stations

    JM Barnett TL Gervais

    LE Bisping

    October 2013

    Prepared for

    the U.S. Department of Energy

    under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Richland, Washington 99352

  • iii

    Summary

    Environmental monitoring of ambient air for radioactive material is required as stipulated in the PNNL

    Site radioactive air license. Sampling ambient air at identified preferred locations could not be initially

    accomplished because utilities were not readily available. Therefore, solar powered environmental

    monitoring systems were considered as a possible option. PNNL purchased two 24-V DC solar powered

    environmental monitoring systems which consisted of solar panels, battery banks, and sampling units.

    During an approximate four month performance evaluation period, the solar stations operated

    satisfactorily at an on-site test location. They were subsequently relocated to their preferred locations in

    June 2012 where they continue to function adequately under the conditions found in Richland,

    Washington.

  • v

    Acronyms and Abbreviations

    cfm cubic feet per minute

    ft3 cubic feet

    in inch(es)

    m3 cubic meters

    mm millimeter(s)

    PLC programmable logic controller

    PNNL Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    RAEL Radioactive Air Emissions License

    RPT R