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Automated Thermal IR Image Monitoring at the
Department of Energy's West Valley Demonstration Project

Canister thermal IR image image interpretation showing presently hot and previously hot  regions Applications of WAY-2C extend beyond simple color sensing. During the startup of the U.S. Department of Energy's joint campaign with the Westinghouse subsidiary-West Valley Nuclear Services, WAY-2C was used as part of the U.S. Congress approved nuclear waste cleanup program near Buffalo, NY called the West Valley Demonstration Project.

When pouring began in July 1996, a WAY-2C based system was monitoring the solidification of the molten radioactive glass as it filled the 10-foot tall stainless steel canisters, approved for high level waste at the West Valley Demonstration Project site.

On the left is a thermal infrared image of a canister into which molten radioactive glass is being poured. On the right is an interpretation of that image generated by CTIMS (Canister Thermal Image Monitoring System) a WAY-2C based software system. Red designates the region which the system interprets as currently hot. The blue region indicates the portion of the canister which has been hot in the past. Output from the WAY-2C interpretation is used to generate a 4-20ma control signal proportional to the highest level in the canister at which hot melt is now or previously has been observed.

John Victor, who was a Senior Engineer at Westinghouse-WVNS, and inventor and developer of this concept from it's inception in 1990, references the WVNS Trade Publication document "Powering Down at West Valley".

"It was September 5, 2002 when the Vitrification Melter was powered down forever, after completing a successful campaign of filling 275 canisters. The real good news for us as a team, was that the total number of canisters predicted was well over 300. Because of our efforts, the Infrared Level Detection System allowed the WVDP to save over 34 canisters at an estimated saving far exceeding one million dollars per canister. Due to the accuracy of and confidence in the Infrared Level data, they were able to fill the canisters over 90 percent on average, which far exceeded the minimum DOE requirement of 80 percent fill."


For more information on the West Valley Demonstration Project:

For more information on the canister thermal image monitoring see: Photonics Spectra, March 1996, page 18, or contact:

Frank Bryson
Bryson Infrared Technologies
John Victor
Robert McConnell
WAY-2C Color Machine Vision

For more information on CTIMS e-mail: BrysonIR@aol.com or rkm@way2c.com or click button Request Information

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Last Updated 6/2/12