Having successfully completed a previous project on site, Dome Technology was selected to provide slope stabilization for a nuclear plant near the Jocassee Dam in Seneca, South Carolina.
With a river nearby, surveyors determined that heavy precipitation or a dam break would result in water funneling to an area that could damage the nearby Oconee Nuclear Station, operated by Duke Energy. The objective was to protect the hillside with reinforced concrete, channeling water in a direction that would keep the hillside intact and the nuclear station protected.
The three-month project was a preventative and proactive measure in light of the Fukishima disaster, said Duke Energy implementation manager/construction manager Eddie Combee. “The way we structured the slope is that (water) will slope away and not damage the nuclear station itself,” he said.
Concrete placed using the shotcrete method was necessary for this project because of the scale and steep slope. With a 2:1 hillside slope, poured concrete would have been an unwieldy choice; the sheer size of the project, plus the tendency for the concrete to run down the hill, would have rendered the project nearly impossible with conventional cast-in-place concrete. The Dome Technology team “used the experience we had from other nuclear projects” to meet stringent safety requirements for working near a nuclear site and to overcome obstacles associated with working on a steep slope, said Dome Technology project manager Jason Craig.