SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Field Demonstration of In Situ Grouting of Radioactive Solid Waste Burial Trenches with Polyacrylamide


Demonstrations of in situ grouting with polyacrylamide were carried out on two undisturbed burial trenches and one dynamically compacted burial trench in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6. The injection of polyacrylamide was achieved quite facilely for the two undisturbed burial trenches, and the trenches were filled with grout at typical pumping rates of 95 L/min in several batches injected over several days. The compacted burial trench, however, failed to accept grout at more than 1.9 L/min even when pressure was applied. Consequently, burial trenches that have been stabilized by dynamic compaction appear to have a permeability too low to be considered groutable. The water table beneath the burial trenches did not respond to grout injections, indicating a lack of hydrologic connection between fluid grout and the water table, which would have been observed if the grout failed to set. Because grout set times were adjusted to less than 60 min, the lack of hydrologic connection was not surprising. Postgrouting penetration testing revealed that the grout had improved the stability of the burial trenches from further subsidence from only 26 to 79% of that measured in the undisturbed soil formation. In situ permeation tests on the grouted trenches have indicated a significant reduction in hydraulic conductivity of the trench contents from a mean of 2.1 × 10-3 to 1.85 × 10-5 cm/s. Preliminary observations indicate that grouting with polyacrylamide is an excellent method for both improved stability and hydrologic isolation of radioactive waste and its incidental hazardous constituents.

Author Information

Spalding, BP
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Fontaine, TA
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
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Developed by Committee: D34
Pages: 415–425
DOI: 10.1520/STP19569S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5186-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1443-2