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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Grouting as a Remedial Technique for Buried Low-Level Radioactive Wastes1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 14 No. 3, p. 389-396
    Received: Sept 14, 1983

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  1. B. P. Spalding,
  2. L. K. Hyder and
  3. I. L. Munro2



Seven grout formulations were tested in the laboratory for their ability to penetrate and to reduce the hydraulic conductivities of soils used as backfills for shallow land burial trenches. Soils from two sites, in Oak Ridge, TN, and Maxey Flats, KY, were used and both are classified as Typic Dystrochrepts. Three soluble grout formulations (sodium silicate, polypropenamide [polyacrylamide], and 1,3-Benzenediol [resorcinol]-formaldehyde) were able to both penetrate soil and sand columns and reduce hydraulic conductivities from initial values of ca. 10−4 m s−1 to < 10−8 m s−1. Three particulate grouts (lime [calcium oxide]-fly ash, fly ash-cement-bentonite, and bentonite alone) could not penetrate columns; such formulations would, therefore, be difficult to inject into closed burial trenches. Field demonstrations with both sodium silicate and polyacrylamide showed that grout could be distributed throughout a burial trench and that waste-backfill hydraulic conductivity could be reduced several orders of magnitude. Field grouting with polyacrylamide reduced the mean hydraulic conductivity of nine intratrench monitoring wells from 10−4 to 10−8 m s−1. Grouting of low-level radioactive solid waste in situ, therefore, should be an effective technique to correct situations where leaching of buried wastes has or will result in groundwater contamination.

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