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WM2019 Day 2

This morning's session was taken up with sludge retrieval challenges in the UK and US. Laurie Judd (L&A) chaired the session that was unusually full - standing room only at times.

Erich Keszler (NVE) opened with a review of the work they had done at Savannah River in profiling sludges using 3D sonar - the same system used at Sellafield. Sean Morgan (Sellafield) then talked about the impact of gas generation on planning and retrievals and methods of management. Finally, Carl Enerlin (PNNL) talked about HWEE (pronounced "Hewey") which stands for the Hanford Waste End Effector - a gadget being designed for tank waste retrievals. It is a sluicing type of technology using water and pumps to fluidise the waste and then transfer out of the tanks.

The session continued after the break with a couple of talks from Hanford. One was on alternative methods for waste retrieval; the so called MWGS (mechanical waste gathering system) which basically explains exactly what it does! It uses the Barrnon technology they developed from the fishing industry. Sean finished off with his second presentation of the day on geopolymers and their development for the encapsulation of waste.


Down on the show floor, there are poster areas. These either provide additional information to the presentations or are instead of them. There were several from UK universities / organisations including this one which is a Sellafield / Distinctive project.

After lunch, we had a good meeting with Laura Hermann following up on her presentation yesterday on how site communication teams can very quickly get overwhelmed; in this case Kim Kardashian somehow ended up tweeting about an incident at a site (that wasn't an incident) and suddenly tens of thousands of people were suddenly experts and wanted to know what was going on! It was fascinating to hear the details and what mechanisms are going to be needed in the future (that are currently well outside existing capabilities) to respond.

In between meetings I spent time on the show floor meeting various exhibitors and finding out more about their technologies; either getting details of new technologies or further information about existing technologies for the Idea Catalog. It is always interesting and well worth the effort. Here's Christine Langton talking to the folks at Deep Isolation who have just done a demo drill for deep disposal in California using oil & gas technology.

Tuesday evening is when the major vendors hold their evening events. There are always many to go to that offer free food and drink and the chance to network. Some are local and others a bit further afield. Mirion Technologies had their event in the Hyatt just opposite the Conference Center and had live music in a great setting.


Aecom had a room on the floor below and Pantek had their usual event at the Majerles which is only 50m from the Hyatt. Theirs went on till closing and was packed not surprisingly.

It is always amazing how many people you bump into that you know but hadn't seen earlier. And also, how many new people that you just meet and strike up a conversation. A very good day. I'll try and get the Wednesday blog out sooner.