The History of Bluegrass Companies: 1979–Present
The Founding of a Pioneer
Bluegrass Companies was founded in 1979 by CEO and Owner Nicholas Jenkins. The business would become comprised of 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.
Power Plant Decommissioning
Bluegrass’s decommissioning history includes performing 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 contracted for the United States Government's 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.
The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR)
In 1997 Bluegrass helped the Princeton Physics Laboratory by offering a demonstration of how the TFTR could be disassembled via 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.”
Lock & Dam
Projects such as slot cutting at Hiwassee Dam have been a focus of the company as well, also see their work with Tennessee Valley Authority.
Bluegrass has removed many bridge piers or piles both underwater and in the air using diamond wire sawing techniques. In addition Bluegrass utilizes robotic hammering (Brokks) for the breaking of the concrete roadway supported by these piers.
In 2006 Bluegrass-Companies 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. The patent, U.S. Patent #8,286,625, was filed with the advantages being summarized as follows.
1. 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.
2. Another advantage is a diamond wire saw assembly that eliminates labor-intensive methods requiring the use of divers at extreme depths.
3. Another advantage is that the diamond wire saw assembly can be deployed by remotely operated vehicles.
4. 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.
5. Another advantage is a diamond wire saw assembly that is portable.
6. Another advantage is a diamond wire saw that eliminates wire breakage.