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Carpenter Drilling and Nicholson awarded US Energy jet-injection test programme

Construction Drilling  

CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL) has awarded Carpenter Drilling and Nicholson, the North American business unit of Soletanche Bachy Group, a construction subcontract worth US$330,000 for a jet-injection test programme at the US Department of Energy’s 100N Area on the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington.

Using jet-grouting, Nicholson will construct three permeable, reactive barrier-test sections by injecting ground fishbone slurry, known as apatite, as well as a phosphate solution.

Permeable, reactive barriers in the 100N Area are being designed to protect the nearby Columbia River by sequestering and immobilising strontium-90 in the soil and groundwater so that it can decay safely in place.

Fishbone and phosphate solutions will be injected using Nicholson’s proprietary JETPLUS jet-grouting system, which minimises hydraulic system losses to maximise energy and cutting efficiency.

The JETPLUS system can inject and treat larger volumes of soil with fewer pilot holes, and it does not have any of the negative consequences of the air injection used with the double or triple fluid jet-grouting systems, according to Nicholson.

After the performance of the test sections, CH2M HILL will have the option of awarding Carpenter Drilling and Nicholson additional scope, valued at approximately US$4.5 million, to construct a 2,500ft-long, permeable, reactive barrier along the Columbia River using either the fishbone or phosphate solution.

Having recently completed stage one of the grout curtain project at McCook Reservoir, Nicholson was selected by the Chicago District for stage two. During this phase, Nicholson will construct a 7,000 linear ft grout curtain around the new surface reservoir, currently being built for a combined sewer-overflow system.

The grout curtain, which will be installed beneath an overburden cut-off wall around the perimeter of the reservoir, provides the necessary ground treatment to decrease the flow of water in and out of the 7 billion gallon reservoir.

Two rows of grout curtain, one on either side of the cut-off wall and staggered 15° from vertical in opposite directions, will be drilled through 43-53ft of overburden soil and then extended 315ft into the limestone bedrock under the reservoir.

Stage two of the McCook project will, again, include the real-time collection of water-pressure and grouting responses using Nicholson’s GROUT I.T. system. This measures, records and graphically displays pertinent grouting parameters in real time.

The David D. Terry Lock and Dam consists of a 110ft-wide by 600ft-long navigation lock and a gated spillway with 18 tainter gates. The spillway’s concrete piers have numerous cracks resulting from alkali-silica reactivity.

Nicholson has been contracted by the Little Rock District to drill exploratory core holes and install 22 anchors in 11 of the piers.

Nicholson’s work will include recovering and storing core samples, collecting down-hole images of the core holes, and surveying, videotaping, mapping and patching the underwater cracks.

In 2004 and 2005, the firm performed structural repairs and installed instrumentation on six of the dam’s piers that were damaged by the alkali-silica reactivity.

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