Japan regulators OK costly ice wall at Fukushima plant (Update)

March 30, 2016 by Mari Yamaguchi
Japan regulators OK costly ice wall at Fukushima plant
In this March 10, 2014 file photo, workers wearing protective gears install a trial model of the underground frozen wall at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan in their attempt to stop the leakage of radioactive water that has accumulated at the crippled nuclear power plant. Japanese regulators on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, approved the use of a giant refrigeration system to create an unprecedented underground frozen barrier around buildings at the Fukushima nuclear plant in an attempt to contain leaking radioactive water. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it plans to turn on the ice wall on Thursday, March 31, starting with the portion near the sea to minimize the risk of contaminated water escaping into the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, Pool, File)

Japanese regulators on Wednesday approved the use of a giant refrigeration system to create an unprecedented underground frozen barrier around buildings at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in an attempt to contain leaking radioactive water.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said the structure, which was completed last month, can now be activated.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it plans to turn on the ice wall on Thursday, starting with the portion near the sea to prevent more contaminated water from escaping into the Pacific Ocean. The system will be started up in phases to allow close monitoring and adjustment.

Nearly 800,000 tons of radioactive water that is already being stored in 1,000 industrial tanks at the plant has been hampering the decontamination and decommissioning of the nuclear facility, which was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The success of the ice wall is believed to be key to resolving the plant's water woes.

The 35 billion yen ($312 million) government-funded project, proposed by construction giant Kajima Corp., is more than a year behind schedule because of technical uncertainties. Some experts are still skeptical of the technology and question whether it's worth the huge cost.

The project consists of refrigeration pipes dug 30 meters (100 feet) underground that are designed to freeze the soil around them. They are supposed to form a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) wall around the reactor and turbine buildings to contain radioactive water and keep out groundwater.

At a meeting Wednesday of the nuclear agency, Chairman Shunichi Tanaka cautioned against high expectations because the success of the project depends in part on nature. "It would be best to think that natural phenomena don't work the way you would expect," he later told reporters.

Similar methods have been used to block water from parts of tunnels and subways, but a structure large enough to surround four buildings and related facilities is untested. A smaller wall was used to isolate radioactive waste at an U.S. Department of Energy laboratory in Tennessee but only for six years. The decommissioning of the Fukushima plant is expected to take decades.

Three damaged reactors at the plant must be continually cooled with water to keep their melted cores from overheating. The water, which becomes radioactive, leaks out through cracks and other damaged areas into the reactor basements, where it mixes with groundwater, increasing the volume of contaminated water.

Many experts including Tanaka say a "controlled release" of treated water is the only solution to the water woes, but concerns about ocean health make it a contentious subject.

A test of part of the ice wall successfully froze the ground around it, and officials hope the entire wall can be formed within several months, according to Shinichi Nakakuki, a spokesman for the utility, TEPCO.

TEPCO officials say they hope the ice wall will stop most of the flow of groundwater into the area and allow the turbine basements to be dried by 2020, confining the contamination to the three melted reactors.

Asked at the meeting if the ice wall is worth the cost, TEPCO accident response official Toshihiro Imai replied, "Its effect is still unknown, because the expected outcome is based on simulations."

Explore further: Japan to fund ice wall to contain reactor leaks (Update)

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gkam
2.9 / 5 (11) Mar 30, 2016
Other than that, and the tremendous amounts of radioactivity it is okay.

Tell me again how economical and wise it is to use nuclear power.
WillieWard
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2016
Other than that, and the tremendous amounts of radioactivity it is okay.
And no one was killed by radiation, including gskam who ever wears his protection, a tin foil hat, like his friends.
https://weeklywor...012d.jpg
http://static1.bu...ment.jpg
https://fsmedia.i...amp;q=75
https://upload.wi...at_2.png
Captain Stumpy
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 30, 2016
Tell me again how economical and wise it is to use nuclear power.
@Liar-kam
OK... because it is far safer than solar
see the first page here:
http://physics.ke...re15.pdf

but more important, you don't know about how safe nukes are despite your claims to be an authority
for more evidence, see:

https://www.youtu...yv9arXqU

https://www.youtu...xY-wOrI8

https://www.youtu...rcdMiIGs

https://www.youtu...Zm8XO7Zc

gkam
3 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2016
Trumpy, I do not go to your silly references.

Having no experience in life yourself, you are ripe for manipulation, and being so emotional, I'd say you are already being manipulated.
Captain Stumpy
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 30, 2016
I do not go to your silly references
@liar-kam
ignoring the science and evidence means you don't want to know the truth or promote science
Having no experience in life yourself
this is called ad hominem redirect from your lack of factual evidence based argument

care to rethink the answer and supply evidence that refutes the claim i made?
i can provide links and evidence proving nukes to be safer than you claim as well as safer than walking, driving, flying or even solar and wind power...
http://physics.ke...re15.pdf

https://www.osha....ar.html)

all you have done is attack me for providing evidence refuting your claim
who is the *emo* now?

do you have actual evidence, or will you simply attack again with more unsubstantiated conjecture and false claims?
gkam
3 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2016
"you don't know about how safe nukes are, . . "
-------------------------------

And you, hiding in the woods, knows more about the technology than one who tested some of it? And did the writers of your stuff mention SL-1? No? Fermi I? No?

How about TMI II? Fukushima? Chernobyl? No?

Well then, it isn't a real "analysis", is it?
Captain Stumpy
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 30, 2016
And you, hiding in the woods,
@liar-kam
Ok, so you have no factual evidence to bring to the argument at all, then?

.

.

thanks for sharing your emotional feeling about nukes

.

since you can't actually links references or provide an empirically based ardument except to throw out irrelevant fearmongering irrationality, then it leaves me no more choice

you have no evidence
you are posting pseudoscience based upon argument from authority and nonsensical faith based delusional rhetoric

your silence and inability to post a rational argument from evidence is telling

thanks for demonstrating that once again
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2016
Having no experience in life yourself... knows more about the technology than one who tested some of it?
Hmmm george kamburoff is the guy who thinks he is an engineer, or actually better than an engineer, because he had a few job shop positions with the term engineer in the title. And also taught lunch-and-learns.

George kamburoff is the guy who thinks that a junior birdman of the month award makes him an expert in aeronautics, surveillance, government, and etc.

George kamburoff is the guy who is so desperate to establish credibility that he gets an honorary 'life experience' MS and then thinks he can LIE about it being for environmental mgt, and get away with it.

George kamburoff claims that standing in a nuke reactor control room, and also doing validation on one subsystem offsite as a temp, makes him an authority on reactor engg and waste storage.

No george, I for one think I could invent a much better personal history than you did.

You lying fucking imbecile.
gkam
3 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2016
You are sick, otto, . . sick. Your continual references to the alleged psychopathy of everyone else is just you screaming to us to help you.

And since all bullies are cowards, we will have to ID you.

TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2016
You are sick, otto, . . sick. Your continual references to the alleged psychopathy of everyone else
Just you georgie. Just you. As far as I can tell you're most likely the only psychopath here.

IMO.

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