Methods and systems are provided for stabilizing a subsurface area such as a buried waste pit for either long term storage, or interim storage and retrieval. A plurality of holes are drilled into the subsurface area with a high pressure drilling system provided with a drill stem having jet grouting nozzles. A grouting material is injected at high pressure through the jet grouting nozzles into a formed hole while the drill stem is withdrawn from the hole at a predetermined rate of rotation and translation. A grout-filled column is thereby formed with minimal grout returns, which when overlapped with other adjacent grout-filled columns encapsulates and binds the entire waste pit area to form a subsurface agglomeration or monolith of grout, soil, and waste. The formed monolith stabilizes the buried waste site against subsidence while simultaneously providing a barrier against contaminate migration. The stabilized monolith can be left permanently in place or can be retrieved if desired by using appropriate excavation equipment. The jet grouting technique can also be utilized in a pretreatment approach prior to in situ vitrification of a buried waste site. The waste encapsulation methods and systems are applicable to buried waste materials such as mixed waste, hazardous waste, or radioactive waste.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company.