Report Tunneling Cost Reduction Study prepared for Fermilab

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Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories has a need to review the costs of constructing the very long tunnels which would be required for housing the equipment for the proposed Very Large Hadron Collider (VLHC) project. Current tunneling costs are high, and the identification of potential means of significantly reducing them, and thereby helping to keep overall project costs within an acceptable budget, has assumed great importance. Fermilab has contracted with The Robbins Company to provide an up-to-date appraisal of tunneling technology, and to review the potential for substantially improving currently the state-of-practice performance and construction costs in particular. The Robbins Company ... continued below

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84 pages

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Creator: Unknown. July 16, 1999.

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Description

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories has a need to review the costs of constructing the very long tunnels which would be required for housing the equipment for the proposed Very Large Hadron Collider (VLHC) project. Current tunneling costs are high, and the identification of potential means of significantly reducing them, and thereby helping to keep overall project costs within an acceptable budget, has assumed great importance. Fermilab has contracted with The Robbins Company to provide an up-to-date appraisal of tunneling technology, and to review the potential for substantially improving currently the state-of-practice performance and construction costs in particular. The Robbins Company was chosen for this task because of its long and successful experience in hard rock mechanical tunnel boring. In the past 40 years, Robbins has manufactured over 250 tunneling machines, the vast majority for hard rock applications. In addition to also supplying back-up equipment, Robbins has recently established a division dedicated to the manufacture of continuous conveying equipment for the efficient support of tunneling operations. The study extends beyond the tunnel boring machine (TBM) itself, and into the critical area of the logistics of the support of the machine as it advances, including manpower. It is restricted to proven methods using conventional technology, and its potential for incremental but meaningful improvement, rather than examining exotic and undeveloped means of rock excavation that have been proposed from time to time by the technical community. This is the first phase of what is expected to be a number of studies in increasing depth of technical detail, and as such has been restricted to the issues connected with the initial 34 kilometer circumference booster tunnel, and not the proposed 500 kilometer circumference tunnel housing the VLHC itself. The booster tunnel is entirely sited within low to medium strength limestone and dolomite formations, typical of the Chicago area. The rock is generally competent with widely spaced jointing, and slowdown of the operation for the installation of rock support is expected to be minimal. The tunneling system will have to be equipped with the necessary equipment for an efficient response to poor rock conditions however. Because the ground conditions are expected to be very favorable, a state-of-the-art TBM should have no difficulty in excavating at a high penetration rate of 10 meters per hour or more in rock of the average of the range of strengths stated to exist. Disc cutter changes will be few as the rock has very low abrasivity. However, experience has shown that overall tunneling rates are a relatively low percentage of the machine's penetration rate capability. Therefore the main focus of improvement is guaranteeing that the support systems, including mucking and advance of the utilities do not impede the operation. Improved mechanization of the support systems, along with automation where practicable to reduce manpower, is seen as the best means of raising the overall speed of the operation, and reducing its cost. The first phase of the study is mainly involved with establishing the baseline for current performance, and in identifying areas of improvement. It contains information on existing machine design concepts and provides data on many aspects of the mechanical tunneling process, including costs and labor requirements. While it contains suggestions for technical improvements of the various system, the time limitations of this phase have not permitted any detailed concept development. This should be a major part of the next phase.

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84 pages

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-MISC-1999-02
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH03000
  • DOI: 10.2172/878913 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 878913
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878523

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • July 16, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 1, 2016, 4:18 p.m.

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Report Tunneling Cost Reduction Study prepared for Fermilab, report, July 16, 1999; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878523/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.