Automation Concepts for In-Situ Waste Containment

by Larry Banta, West Virginia Univ, Morgantown, United States,
David Martinelli, West Virginia Univ, Morgantown, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


The isolation of chemical and radioactive contaminants from groundwater supplies is a topic of increasing concern and urgency. In-situ containment of hazardous wastes is preferable if it can be reliably and safely accomplished. This paper presents a novel approach to the strategy of in-situ containment which uses concepts from the mining, robotics, and commercial landfill industries to isolate a waste site. An approach for the adaptation of longwall mining equipment to allow tunnelling under and around a waste site, and construction of an inert, low-permeability barrier made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) is presented. This paper describes the system concepts, the working environment and some of the robotic and automation applications that will be developed in this research.

Subject Headings: Chemical wastes | Radioactive wastes | Automation and robotics | Waste containment | Mine wastes | Hazardous wastes | Waste treatment

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