The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste has entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank in 1973. Many of the contaminants from that leak still reside within the vadose zone beneath the T Tank Farm. CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. seeks to minimize movement of this residual contaminant plume by placing an interim cover on the surface. Such a cover is expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plume and moving it further. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has prepared a design plan to monitor and determine the effectiveness of the interim cover. A three-dimensional numerical simulation of water movement beneath a cover was conducted to guide the design of the plan. Soil water content, water pressure, and temperature will be monitored using off-the-shelf equipment that can be installed by the hydraulic hammer technique. In fiscal year 2006, two instrument nests will be installed, one inside and one outside of the proposed cover. In fiscal year 2007, two additional instrument nests, both inside the proposed cover, will be installed. Eachmore » instrument nest contains a neutron access tube and a capacitance probe (to measure water content), and four heat-dissipation units (to measure pressure head and temperature). A datalogger and a meteorological station will be installed outside of the fence. Two drain gauges will be installed in locations inside and outside the cover for the purpose of measuring soil water flux.« le
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