Dynamic Compaction of Nuclear Waste

by Cliff Schexnayder, (M.ASCE), Chief Engr.; Nello L. Teer Co., Durham, NC,
Robert G. Lukas, (M.ASCE), Sr. Principal Engr.; STS Consultants, Ltd., Northbrook, IL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 3, Pg. 64-65

Document Type: Feature article


When ponding, caused by settlement of the original soil cover over low-level nuclear waste buried at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Nuclear Plant near Aiken, S.C., threatened possible contamination of ground water, the agency decided to densify the wastes, then install an impervious clay cap over the site. The project featured the first use of dynamic compaction to consolidate nuclear waste—and one of the largest applications of the technology ever. Dynamic compaction densification compressed the nuclear waste fill approximately 12.7%. Cone penetration resistance readings were approximately 4-6 times higher after compaction. The type of equipment used, a contractor's test program and safety procedures used during the dynamic compaction operations are covered.

Subject Headings: Soil settlement | Soil pollution | Radioactive wastes | Soil water | Groundwater pollution | Recycling | Compacted soils | Hydro power

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