ice-wall2from Straight.com / May 29, 2014 / Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has given the go-ahead to the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant to build a so-called ice wall around four reactors to prevent incoming groundwater from becoming severely contaminated.

The NRA, Japan’s nuclear watchdog agency, had been considering the plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which runs the Fukushima Daiichi plant, since last fall.

TEPCO, which announced the idea in May 2013, conducted limited tests of the relatively unproven technological fix in October 2013 and, most recently, two weeks ago.

According to Asahi Shimbun news on May 17, a spokesperson for Kajioma Corp., the construction company building the ice wall, declared the latest test a success.

The Japanese government has pledged $313 million to fund the project.

Project will take almost a year

TEPCO is expected to commence construction of the underground ice-wall—which, along with a recently implemented groundwater-bypass scheme, is part of TEPCO’s approach to reduce the amount of radioactive groundwater now being stored and treated in temporary tank farms on the site—in June and finish the project sometime in March 2015, according to the Japan Daily Press on May 27.

The wall is designed to operate for about seven years.

The ice-wall project involves sinking tubes carrying coolant, one metre apart, up to 30 metres underground and in a roughly 1.5-kilometre rectangular shape around four reactors. The piped refrigerant, at minus-30 ° C, would freeze groundwater and create an impervious two-metre-thick soil wall.

Up to 400 tons of water per day flows underground from nearby hillsides into the site, often mixing with contaminated water used to cool reactors that were severely damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

More than 1,000 storage tanks already built

The groundwater-bypass plan—which is expected to lessen this volume of water by piping up to 80 tons per day of diverted (as well as treated and moderately contaminated) water into the Pacific Ocean—was designed to reduce the need to build additional water storage tanks at the site. More than 1,000 tanks have been installed in the past three years.

TEPCO has said that if all goes according to plan, with both the bypass and the ice wall in operation, the outside-groundwater inflow will be reduced to 130 tons per day.

The ice-wall technique has been used previously in tunnel construction near watercourses, but not on such a large scale.

Contaminated-soil storage plan moves ahead

Meanwhile, the Japan Daily Press reported on May 28 that the Japanese government is putting the finishing touches on a plan to store the Fukushima Daiichi site’s contaminated soil prior to disposal outside of the prefecture.

The decontamination process is expected to take upwards of 30 years.

SOURCE: Straight.com

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By Broc West| 8 Comments | Featured, News

8 comments

  1. I feel that the ice wall will help to reduce the radiation from entering the ecosystem.
    well done tepco,and the enginers who will make the wall work.

  2. How many hundreds of megawatts of heat are the melted cores radiating into the ground?

    What is the weight of melted core materials in the ground?
    How deeply have these cores sunk into the ground?

    For how man years will those melted cores continue to fission?

    (Don’t tell me that Tepco have achieved “cold shutdown”. They haven’t.)

  3. That ice wall is a bad joke and it will never operate properly to hold back the millions and millions of gallons of poisoned radioactive waste that has been and still is pumping into the Pacific Ocean to contaminate the fish, sea life, animals and humans that eat from the Pacific Ocean. Cancers and DNA changes will occur to affect and mutate the future generations of multiple life forms on this planet! Entire families can and will be affected from this radiation! Anyone that has been eating Pacific fish and seafood should consider doing a radiation detox with the natural mineral called Zeolite that has been proven to safely remove both radiation and heavy metals from the human body! For more information on this radiation detox do a search for the single word Zeolite.

    • Zeolite? LOL, so Ecoguy you recommend a At Home Radiation Detox? LOLOL. Your a moron just trying to scare people and pedal holistic garbage. Gawd the internet is chock full of morons.

    • You sound as if you manufacture this zeolite stuff yourself and are trying to sell it fox news style. Cancer and DNA mutations have been a part of the planete’s life cycle long before we got here and radiation as well. While obviously this will have adverse health issues for life in the immediate area, I don’t believe that something as infinitely small as fukushima in comparison to the entireity of the pacific ocean’s vastness could result in an outcome that warrants the level of anxiety I depict in your post. Unless you live near the reactor, which if you do I apologize, you are more likely to get rad poisoning from eating all the glorious processed food here in america than fresh fish out of the pacific. However is it nice to know about the zeolite info if it is ever warranted…

  4. Hmm… so this is the part where we get to watch Hell freeze over.

  5. Wouldnt a concrete barrier wall make more sense than an ice wall for ground water diversion? And why are they still pumping water into those desimated reactors when whats left of the unvaporized fuel and corium is inside the ground? They aren’t even trying anymore, they haven’t started. Is it possible to cool 3 concurrent underground fissions by pouring water in the holes they sank into? Its clear this was done for show because there is no cheap answer and nuclear doesn’t exist without taxpayer welfare.

  6. hydro static pressure on a self healing molten bubble that is trying to form ” to self contain” I hope and pray all goes well for the People of Japan. To bad there isnt a supper powerful boride coagulant mixed with something simple like egg white and clotting factor that would be drawn to the radiation and form fibrous enclosure for the contaminated soil. Biochemistry is not my area of expertise but Im curios of computer simulations done. Just a regular guy hoping the best for our prayer partners in Japan

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