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Bluegrass-companies was founded in 1979 by CEO and Owner Nicholas Jenkins. The business would comprise the sub-companies: Demolition Technologies, The Machine Shop, Bluegrass Concrete Cutting Inc. and Bluegrassbit. Bluegrass Companies has always been headquartered in Greenville, Alabama though now incorporated in Wyoming. The company would become known for the advancement of diamond wire sawing as a technique for non-explosive demolition, later for the creation and patenting of an underwater diamond wire saw, and for assisting the U.S. Department of Energy with various tests as well as nuclear decommissioning.
- 1 Nuclear
- 2 Civil
- 3 Offshore
- 4 Industrial
- 5 References
Power Plant Decommissioning
Bluegrass has performed reactor vessel cutting and steam generator replacements at Sequoyah, Watts Bar, Browns Ferry, Connecticut Yankee, Humboldt Bay, and Big Rock Point Nuclear power plants over the course of the last 30 years.
Plutonium Immobilization Project
The company has worked for the government of the United States of America: Department of energy on their Plutonium Immobilization Project, "After the low pour rate and instrumented canisters cooled, Bluegrass Bit, Inc. used a diamond wire saw to section them at four heights. The sections were then studied for evidence of hardware deformation and glass voids" . This project focused on the finding a way to disposition excess plutonium of a weapons grade classification.
Diamond Shaving of Contaminated Concrete Surfaces
The companies helped to test using diamond shaving to decontaminate radioactive surfaces.
The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR)
In 1997 Bluegrass with the help of the Princeton Physics Laboratory offered a demonstration of how the TFTR could be dissembled with diamond wire sawing, “Based upon the demonstration at PPPL on the TFTR surrogate, the diamond wire cutting technology is superior to the baseline technology for both cost and safety considerations. The combination of void filling with this cutting technology will significantly reduce personnel radiation exposure through shielding, remote operation (normal application of this technology), and radionuclide stabilization”.
Projects such as Hiwassee Dam have been a focus of the company as well, also see their work with Tennessee Valley Authority. Slot cutting are the companies main focus as far as dam demolition. It is akin to slicing a concrete dam like a piece of birthday cake. The technique is simple but very difficult, rotate a loop of cable strung with diamond embedded beads through the structure — essentially, like using a loop of fishing line to cut a cake. Slot cutting is employed to create expansion joints in dams afflicted with compression stresses due to concrete swelling. Alkali Aggregate Reaction, or AAR, is a chemical reaction in concrete created where the aggregate has a high silicon dioxide content. The southeast USA is one such region, and dams in that area require periodic slot cuts to avoid cracking, leakage, and interference with mechanical components such as gates and turbines. The time intervals depend on the AAR specifics of each structure, but 10 years is an average.
After having just recently retired a successful shuttle program NASA is once again looking into deep space (where no human has gone), only not to probe but to actually go. The spacecraft (currently labeled Orion) must first reach orbit before attempting a journey to mars. Nasa has designed what they call the S.L.S. or space launch system to perform this first critical task. Much like the space shuttle booster rockets, the S.L.S. will be assembled at the Michoud Assembly Facility and then transported to the launch location. The S.L.S. will be more powerful than any other similar system Nasa has designed with an expected 8.4 million pounds of thrust at launch. This larger scale and thrust meant facility wide upgrades at the Michoud Assembly location would be required. The task of removing the existing concrete silos, originally built for assembling the space shuttle booster rockets, to make way for larger SLS core stage assembly towers was estimated to take three months. Bluegrass was called in to regain schedule for the overall project eventually completing the demolition of cells B and C in a month.
In 2006 Bluegrass created an underwater saw and had it patented for its use of hydraulic motors in combination with diamond wire to create a new sawing platform which was operational underwater.
U.S. Patent #8,286,625
The patent was filed with the advantages being summarized as follows:
- An advantage of the present invention is a diamond wire saw assembly that provides the ability to cut large diameter heavy walled multi-string pipes remotely, safely and quickly.
- Another advantage is a diamond wire saw assembly that eliminates labor-intensive methods requiring the use of divers at extreme depths.
- Another advantage is that the diamond wire saw assembly can be deployed by remotely operated vehicles.
- Another advantage is that the diamond wire saw assembly can be used for removal of damaged offshore oil platforms as well as for decommissioning of oil platforms that have reached their useful life and are being removed.
- Another advantage is a diamond wire saw assembly that is portable.
- Another advantage is a diamond wire saw that eliminates wire breakage.
Bluegrass participated with Chevron in hurricane remediation projects.
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- "Nuclear Experience". Nuclearmarket.com. http://www.nuclearmarket.com/Suppliers/details2.cfm?IDcompany=1871. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
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- "Hiwassee Dam Slot Cut Project Completed Successfully By Bluegrass Concrete Cutting Inc.". http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11483968.htm.
- "Bluegrass TVA". http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11296232.htm.