Its 10pm – do you know where your nuclear waste is?


While we worry about tracking nuclear bombs, nuclear waste is also a huge issue, and the Argonne National Laboratory has developed an RFID system for tracking it.     Through the support of the DOE (Dept of Energy) , researchers have developed and tested a patented RFID tracking and monitoring technology called ARG-US, which will assist with the management of nuclear waste.

According to the laboratory, “the system provides near real time tracking of the state of health of packages and canisters during transport, in-transit stops, and storage, by using multi-functional RFID tags attached to each (container).”

The system can monitor thousands of drums of waste 24/7, checking on not just their location, but temperature, humidity, shock, radiation and seal integrity.     Should a drum be moved without authorization, or should there be abrupt changes in the radiation field the system will trigger an alarm.

The system has been six years in development and has been in the field in a number of DOE locations for two to three years, according to Dr. Hanchung Tsai, one of the developers.

ARG-US was selected by an industry panel to receive RFID Journal’s prestigious “Most Innovative Use of RFID” Award for 2011.   

 Aso, in 2011, Argonne was selected as a finalist to present at the 2011 World’s Best Technology Innovation Marketplace, a preeminent technology forum.

The technology was recently licensed to Evigia – a leading industry provider of cost effective wireless and sensing products.

     This is an exciting invention and we congratulate Argonne National Laboratory and the DOE on their success!


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