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Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550

Symposium of the International Society for Rock Mechanics

Post-Grouting Experiences for Reducing Groundwater Inflow


at 500 m Depth of the Mizunami Underground Research
Laboratory, Japan
M. Tsujia*, S. Kobayashia, S. Mikakeb, T. Satoc, H. Matsuib
a
Civil Enginnering Technology Divison, Shimizu Corporation, No. 16-1, Kyobashi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8370, Japan
b
Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory, JAEA, 1-64, Yamanouchi, Akiyo-cho, Mizunami-shi, Gifu 509-6132, Japan
c
Horonobe Underground Research Center, JAEA, 432-2, Hokushin, Horonobe-cho, Teshio-gun, Hokkaido 098-3224, Japan

Abstract

This paper shows the application of two post-grouting works to a gallery at 500 m depth of Mizunami Underground Research
Laboratory (MIU) in Japan. The ground water pressure was around 3.5 MPa during the campaign. A maximum grouting pressure
was set at 5.0 MPa for the first post-grouting and 5.5 MPa for the second. Three new grouting concepts were applied to the post-
grouting works; a new grout material, a new injection system, and a new post-grouting zone. As for a grout material, “durable
liquid-type colloidal silica grout (CSG)” was applied to seal the narrow fractures. As for an injection system, “complex dynamic
grouting method” was applied to improve the penetrability of the grout material. As for a post-grouting zone, “outside of the pre-
grouted zone” was targeted to reduce the risk of erosion and leakage of fresh grout.
The first post-grouting work in 2014 was designed by the new concepts combined with the ordinary ones for the comparative
study. The reduction of the sectional inflow indicated that the hydraulic conductivity of the post-grouted rock mass to be lower
than 10-9 m/s by the back calculation. The second campaign in 2016 was designed by totally latest concepts. As a result, it was
measured that all the dripping spots be lower than 1 l/min, which satisfied the severe criterion to perform the post-grouting for
a deep repository in Sweden.
The grouting works were successful in reducing the abundant water inflow from the rock mass with many fractures. It can be
concluded that the developed grouting methodology in MIU is applicable for constructing the watertight tunnels in hard rock
with lots of fractures and for the future disposal sites with a severe inflow requirement.
© 2017
© 2017TheTheAuthors.
Authors. Published
Published by Elsevier
by Elsevier Ltd. Ltd.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EUROCK 2017.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EUROCK 2017

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +81-3-3561-3919; fax: +81-3-3561-8673.


E-mail address: tsujimas@shimz.co.jp

1877-7058 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EUROCK 2017
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2017.05.216
544 M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550

Keywords: rock grouting; high pressure; colloidal silica; complex dynamic grouting; Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory;

1. Introduction

In Japan, as geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste is legislated to be at a depth of at least 300 m, it is
one of the mandatory tasks to develop the technology for reducing groundwater inflow in the deep underground with
high water pressure. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency is operating the Mizunami Underground Research
Laboratory (MIU) project in Japan in order to establish a firm scientific basis for the safe geological disposal.
The regional geology consists of Cretaceous granitic basement covered by Tertiary and Quaternary sedimentary
rocks from the 170 m depth to the surface. The water inflow into MIU is required to be the more strictly reduced in
the deeper excavation with the higher water pressure. Therefore, performing and developing the rock grouting
technology in the conductive zones has been an essential countermeasure during the construction and to prepare for
the future disposal project. Several pre-grouting works before the excavation and then two post-grouting works at
500 m depth have been conducted, see Fig. 1. Details of the pre-grouting works in MIU are provided in [1].

Fig. 1. (a) location and layout of MIU with grouted areas; (b) photos of GL.-500 m - gallery, where post-grouting campaigns were performed.

2. Design concepts for post-grouting

2.1. Colloidal silica grout (CSG)

Although cement or super-fine cement had been applied for pre-grouting the hydraulic conductive areas at the site
of MIU, a grout material with the better penetrability in fine fractures than cement was desired for the further
reduction of groundwater inflow. In 2010, while excavating the shafts between the depth of 450 m and 500 m,
a post-grouting in-situ experiment with seven boreholes applying a durable liquid-type colloidal silica grout (CSG)
was carried out at a niche at 300 m (GL.-300 m - niche, see Fig 1), in order to investigate its applicability to MIU.
CSG in Japan is a material that the main liquid consists of amorphous particles of SiO2 with diameters of 10–20 nm.
M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550 545

When the main silica liquid is mixed with an inorganic salt as a hardening accelerator, it starts a reaction and
the silica particles aggregate to form a durable gel, see Fig 2.

Fig. 2. Photos of the durable liquid-type colloidal silica grout (CSG) in Japan. (a) main liquid (30% of SiO2); (b) hardening accelerator;
(c) after mixture before gelling; (d) hardened homo-gel.

It was verified by the experiment that the sealing effect be lower than 6.7×10-10 m/s and the durability for more
than a couple of years, which means its excellent applicability to the MIU. Details of the experiment are provided in
[2].
As for a grout material for hard rock, the European CSG was firstly studied and applied in Sweden, see [3] for
example. A comparison study of using the CSG between the experiment in the MIU and a Swedish project was
conducted by the authors and Johan F. in Chalmers University of Technology. As a result of the study, it was
suggested for the Japanese side that the Swedish design methodology based on theoretical grout penetration is
applicable to Japanese rock mass with high intensity of fractures. Moreover, it was concluded that “durability” and
“erosion” must be the key issues for the further development and application of grouting techniques using the CSG.
For the details for this study, refer to [4].
For these reasons, CSG with Swedish theoretical design to determine the gel time and grouting pressure was
applied to the post-grouting works.

2.2. Complex dynamic grouting method

The mechanism of the complex dynamic grouting method is to grout with pulsation composed of a long wave and
a short wave on the pressure in order to improve the penetrability of the grout with suspension type, see Fig. 3.
Although the CSG is not a suspension, but a liquid type material, the particles of nano-size comes to the larger when
it becomes gelling. Thus, we believed in a dispersing effect even for the CSG and introduced the complex dynamic
grouting for the purpose of a better grout penetration.

Fig. 3. (a) concepts of different injection system regarding grouting pressure with time; (b) photo of the monitor while grouting by complex
dynamic grouting.

2.3. Grouting outside of the pre-grouted zone

Normally, a hydraulic gradient near the tunnel wall is much higher than that at the deeper from the wall. Hence,
rock mass near the tunnel wall has a high risk of erosion of fresh grout and even more when applying CSG, because
erosion is one of the key issues found in the comparison study described above in 2.1. Colloidal silica grout (CSG).
We conducted article survey and referred to the post-grouting experience at Hallandsås tunnel shown in [5], which
shows the concept to drill and grout outside of the pre-grouted zone, where hydraulic gradient and the risk of erosion
should be both lower than pre-grouted zone, see Fig. 4.
546 M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550

Fig. 4. A schematic view of a new post-grouting zone which is outside of the pre-grouted zone (right) compared with the traditional design (left).

3. First experience (post-fan No.1-6)

3.1. First design

Post-grouting works with six fans were planned for a section of 16.2 m among the pre-grouted area in
GL.-500m - gallery, see Fig. 5. The purpose was to develop appropriate post-grouting design to focus on further
reducing ingress of water in the deep underground. Therefore, the new design methods with some fans combined
with traditional ones were applied, so that the comparative evaluation can be done after the campaign.
The comparisons of design were set as follows;

x Material comparison: CSG (new) or super-fine Portland cement


x Injection system comparison: Complex dynamic grouting (new) or static grouting (traditional),
x Grouting zone comparison: Sealing outside of the pre-grouted zone (new) or sealing exact the grouted zone
(traditional).

Fig. 5. Layout of the first post-grouting fans in GL.-500 m - gallery. A section with 16.2 m length, was selected among the pre-grouted sections.
The fans after post-fan No.3 were executed in the order that each new fan interpolated the completed fans.
M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550 547

As the ground water pressure was around 3.5 MPa, a maximum grouting pressure was set at 5.0 MPa with
the shortest gel time of 35 minutes based on the theoretical grout penetration. For the practical execution, the gel
time of each mixture was basically setting at 120 minutes and changed to the shorter when some particular events
such as leakage into the wall occurred. The stop criteria for each borehole was not based on reaching specific time
related to gel time, which is generally applied in Swedish design, but on reaching a low grout flow, which is more
empirical way in Japan. It means that the grouting is ceased when the pumping is not able to continue and thus
the grouting time based on practice should be longer than the grouting time in Swedish design. Namely, our design
was based on the Swedish method with the safer or conservative execution.

3.2. First results

After the completion of six post-grouting fans, the water ingress measured by the weir in the post-grouted section
successfully reduced from 35.3 to 11.3 l/min per 16.2 m, which equals to 70 l/min per 100 m. The average hydraulic
conductivity for the post-grouted zone was back calculated to be 3.7×10-9 m/s by an equation developed to calculate
the ingress of water after post-grouting.
It was demonstrated that the application of three new design concepts all attained better results than each
alternative. As for the material comparison, it was able to seal to be a rock mass with lower than 0.4 Lugeon by CSG,
which was impossible by the cement; as for the injection system comparison, the penetrability of complex dynamic
grouting was evidently more effective than that of static grouting because of larger grouting volumes per the same-
level Lugeon values; as for the grouting zone comparison, grouting outside of the pre-grouted zone achieved higher
sealing effect then grouting exact the pre-grouted zone because of the very low conductivities below 0.01 Lugeon
was detected in the latter fans. The hydraulic conductivity of the sealed rock mass of such fans was estimated to be
lower than 10-9 m/s. One of the interesting results is that a borehole with a leakage of 130 l/min improved to be
a completely dry hole after grouted only with the CSG. It was successful, although the CSG is normally considered
too weak to resist to the backflow or erosion of fresh grout in an environment of high water pressure with high
hydraulic gradient. One reason can be explained that every connected large and micro water-bearing fractures were
completely filled with the CSG because of completion by the flow criterion after injecting tons of the CSG, thus
large and firm penetrations must be resisting to such backflows. All details of these results are shown in [6] and [7].
One drawback from the first campaign was that there remained a lot of leakage spots around the post-fan No.1.
One reason for the appearance of many leaking spots is that the design applied in the first fan was designed with
the most traditional concepts for the comparative design.

4. Second experience (post-fan No.7-8)

4.1. Second design

The second post-grouting work was planned with all the new design concepts on a section of 4.2 m, which
extrapolates the post-fan No. l, where the most dripping spots were confirmed after the first campaign as described
in the previous chapter. The purpose was further reducing ingress of water at the deep underground with decreasing
the inflow amount for all the dripping spots to be lower than 1 l/min, which stands for a severe criterion to perform
the post-grouting in a deep repository in Sweden, as shown in [8].
The maximum ground water pressure was still measured 3.5 MPa. This time a maximum grouting pressure was
set at 5.5 MPa with the gel time of 35 minutes. It was 0.5 MPa higher than the first campaign for the conservative
penetration. As shown in Fig. 6 it was planned two fans (post-fan No. 7 and 8) initially and determined to
extrapolate two more (post-fan No. 9 and 10) if any of the dripping spots remaining higher than l l/min.
548 M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550

Fig. 6. Plan view of the second post-grouting fans in GL.-500 m - gallery. A limited section of 4.2m was targeted.

4.2. Second results

Ahead of the second post-grouting work, significant dripping spots from the ceiling and the wall were checked
around the 4.2 meter section. There were twenty spots with significant inflow mainly due to the boreholes from
the first post-grouting fan. Five out of twenty spots were not less than 1 l/min. After the completion of the second
post-grouting fans of post-fan No. 7 and No. 8, two dripping spots increased, but all turned out to be lower than
the requirement, see Table 1 and Fig. 7. Therefore, the grouting campaign ceased with the two fans. The post-
grouting was not performed for post-fan No. 9 and No. 10.

Table 1. Measurement results during the second post-grouting.


Measured point Dripping amount before grouting [l/min] Dripping amount after grouting [l/min]
TD*+94.7 2.10 0.30
TD+94.8 2.50 0.60
TD+93.2 1.30 0.00
TD+93.3 0.30 0.20
TD+97.7 1.10 0.10
TD+97.1 0.10 0.10
TD+89.0 0.50 0.50
TD+94.7 0.45 0.13
TD+94.7 0.80 0.40
TD+94.7 0.10 0.00
TD+94.7 0.30 0.00
TD+94.7 0.10 0.10
TD+94.7 0.20 0.10
TD+94.2 0.05 0.10
TD+93.7 0.01 0.00
TD+92.7 0.15 0.20
D+98.0 0.18 0.10
TD+100.5 0.45 0.50
TD+97.7 1.00 0.05
TD+97.7 0.40 0.10
TD+94.8 N/A 0.15
TD+94.9 N/A 0.30
TOTAL 12.09 4.03 (33%reduction)
Measurement by weir 17.7 8.7 (50%reduction)
*“TD+” stands for a distance [m] from the ventilation shaft
M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550 549

Fig. 7. Twenty two dripping spots plotted on the geological sketch of the wall and ceiling of GL-500 m - gallery.

By the weir measurement, the sectional water ingress during the 4.2 m decreased from 17.7 to 8.7 l/min per 4.2 m.
It can be stated that even successful to reduce the each amount of dripping spots, it might be the limitation of the
post-grouting method to decrease by a short span with lots of boreholes existing on the tunnel surface.

5. Conclusion

The post-grouting works with three new design concepts were successful in reducing the water inflow in GL.-
500 m - gallery with the rock mass of many fractures. This is due to reducing the sectional water inflow with
satisfying the severe inflow requirement of 1 l/min for every leaking spots.
It can be concluded that the developed post-grouting methodology in MIU is applicable for constructing the
watertight tunnels in Japanese hard rock in general with lots of fractures and for the future geological disposal sites
with a severe inflow requirement. Furthermore, a post-grouting is empirically deemed to be more difficult than
a pre-grouting to reduce the ingress of water in the tunnels. Therefore, it can be suggested that if the new designs of
CSG and the complex dynamic grouting were robustly applied from the pre-grouting phase, it should have more
potential for reducing the ingress of water to the tunnels with fine fractures.
550 M. Tsuji et al. / Procedia Engineering 191 (2017) 543 – 550

Acknowledgements

The authors’ grateful thanks Mr. Kusano T. and Mr. Eguchi K. belongs to Joint venture for excavation of
Ventilation Shaft in MIU and being worked on grouting in great depth, and Dr. Funehag J. belongs to Chalmers
University for the collaboration and lots of advice related to the works and studies regarding post-grouting and CSG.

References

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