New mission for SRS drones: Inspect waste sites with engineered protective covers | Savannah River Site

For the first time, camera-mounted drones recently hovered, dipped, and glided above remediated waste sites at the Savannah River Site to ensure the structural integrity of the protective covers over them.

“This is a new use for our drones, and it’s had a huge impact on meeting the needs of our federal and state regulators who annually conduct site inspections,” said Juana Maddox, project lead for Environmental Management contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. “For a recent aerial inspection, 10 engineered protective covers at waste facilities within SRS were inspected.”

Use of the drones for inspections is a shift from past practice in which teams of employees walked the cleanup sites – more than 100 acres of land combined – to inspect the covers that consist of geosynthetic material and soil, topped with grass sod.

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