Ice wall partly reduces radioactive water at Fukushima plant but more measures needed

By Mari Yamaguchi

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A government-commissioned group of experts 

They lost me me In the very first sentence. As if a government commissioned team of so-called ‘experts’ would give any kind of honest or negative assessment.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It helps, but doesn't completely solve the problem?

Disillusioned already said it: "a government commissioned team" ..... can we really expect to hear the truth from them? But maybe, there is some alternative truth, the truth that suits the government!

And lets not forget - 35 billion Yen tax payer's money ..... well, taxpayers are patient (or don't even know what their tax is used for).

10 ( +11 / -1 )


I thought the same thing, such an oxymoronic attempt to try and make it seem there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

just days ago they were trying to sell Fukushima fish!!! :-/

7 ( +9 / -2 )

A hand picketed Government Pannel, say the ice wall is "Partly" working? Probably would have been more cost effective to stack cash around the whole place.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

So basically (and not unexpectedly) after all the time and money spent, it simply didn't work!

gotta love the attempted positive spin in the headline.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The plants needed complete meltdowns, where the cores did not stop until they hit the mantle. Perhap they can get the process rolling again to continue on and let gravity fix it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Let’s hear your engineering solutions, JT experts.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

domtoidi - who's claiming to be an expert.

All I can read are comments on the walls failure to work as planned. No engineering degree required as the govt experts have admitted such.

And there were true experts at the time, that didn't agree with the decision to build a ice wall.

And alternatives - well I'll leave that to the experts.

The article for example mentions ".......Critics have been skeptical about the ice wall and suggested that the greater use of wells — a standard groundwater drainage system — would be a cheaper and more proven option......"

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Before the construction of the ¥35 billion construction TEPCO stated it would be effective but now we are told its only 50% effective. The well system might have stopped more but would probably also include storage of the contaminated water, another major problem for TEPCO.

The final costs will be more than ¥50 trillion over 100 years. None of us will ever see its end.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There will never be an end to this in our lifetime. The half-life of nuclear radiation is in the millions. Not even our lifespans 100 times over will see this resolved. They need to do a better job at controlling the radiation. The ice wall obviously isn't a great solution. Creating false hope about this ever growing problem that is not only affecting Japan, but the entire Pacific Ocean region, connecting oceans, and the land that touches, is misleading!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

DisillusionedToday  07:04 am JST

A government-commissioned group of experts 

They lost me me In the very first sentence.

Don't commit the ad hominem fallacy: The truthfulness of a proposition is measured by testing the proposition, not by testing the identity of the person who proposes it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

52.5% reduction? somewhat like asking if the glass is half-full or half-empty.

I have to admit that the whole idea sounded foolish from the start, and I said so volubly here on JT, but once this huge construction plan had been floated, everyone in government was being urged to get behind it, and it became obvious that once again no amount of criticism could stop something with that kind of momentum, so typical for Japan.

Even so, and even at such horrendous expense, something is still better than nothing in the circumstances. As one top nuclear power authority said on television last night, "this is not a disaster that happened seven years ago; it is still an on-going disaster." Japan has the rare ability to see problems as opportunities, which is a glimmer of hope for humanity, and this disaster is spawning a 'wonderful' new era of robotics and nuclear disaster equipment. Even this white elephant ice wall will go down in history as some kind of first, and scientists will use it as a reference in the future.

There is so much to be gloomy about, if you place your attention there, but step by step one gets to Rome. I am giving thanks to the workers on the ground and their struggles and hard work. And like it or not, if we did not vociferously oppose nuclear power from the beginning, then we were part of the problem, so we need to get behind the cleanup process and give credit where any little credit might be due. Just my two cents' worth.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They have no clue but lots of money and lots of Lies

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People need to realize this is a 40-year-project. Not a project to see instant result. Thousands of Japanese engineers are working on this, some will work on the project every day from graduation until they retire. Be patient, and have faith in what the government is achieving.DONT believe anti-nuclear power lobby.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Fukushima will take much longer than 40 years, in the end nearer to 100 years. Look at Chernobyl and the time span of decommissioning many reactors. The problem of how to remove the molten nuclear fuel. Where to store the more than 100,000 tons of highly radioactive waste from the this and other NPP's.

In the beginning the cost was estimated to be less than ¥5 trillion but already after 7 years its about ¥25 trillion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fukushima will take much longer than 40 years, in the end nearer to 100 years.

Government already promised 40. Not 100.Radiation sievert levels coming down, with 1000s of engineers working 24 hours, it may be even less than 40.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Government already promised 40. Not 100.Radiation sievert levels coming down, with 1000s of engineers working 24 hours, it may be even less than 40.

A government promise in Japan on just about anything except raising taxes isn't worth the paper it's written on. The government has no idea what it's doing, and is just throwing money after money at the thing to give TEPCO funds so it's amukudari brigade can pad their nests.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!

Government already promised 40.

Firstly, the government promised many things. Trip back to 2011, the government promised there was not a nuclear meltdown in the reactors.

The government said the total cost of the disaster would be ¥5trillion but already at ¥25 trillion.

Decommissioning of a nuclear plant would normally be 40-60 years. This is for normal reactors. The Fukushima plant is a nuclear disaster likely to take at least until the end of this century and beyond. At the moment not a single person knows because what as happened at the NPP as never happened anywhere before. Chernobyl happened in 1986 and is still going on after 31 years. No one even know if when and how the molten nuclear fuel will be removed. We only have a government promise it will but that's quite meaningless.

Not 100.Radiation sievert levels coming down, with 1000s of engineers working 24 hours, it may be even less than 40.

That is not correct there are thousands of engineers working 24/7. At the nuclear disaster site on a any day there are between 4,000 to 6,000 workers but more than 90% of them are temporary day workers, formally called the "nuclear refugee's" doing the manual and dirty labor. Less than 1,000 engineers are working on the site but there people also working in Tokyo, engineers, scientists looking to find ways to resolve all the impossible problems. Also at Toshiba they too are working on mostly trying and finding robots which can do the work.

It's true the radiation levels around the plant have decreased to levels allowing workers to wear less protective clothing. This was achieved by removing the debris and garbage around the plant, the vegetation, top soils and covering the ground with thick iron plates. But the radiation levels inside the reactors remains deadly high at 500 Sieverts per hour. The radiation levels inside the No1-3 reactor buildings also remains high meaning workers can not enter or enter for minutes rather than hours.

Much of the current work on the No3 reactor was and is being done by using remote control cranes and other equipment.

Even if solution are found a very realistic time scale would be by the end of the century so you and I don't be able to stand on the site of the former nuclear plant eating a bento and looking out across the sea.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@ browny1

domtoidi - who's claiming to be an expert.

I think domtoidi noticed, as I did, a few emotional comments with doubts about the expertise of the experts. Even when those experts make disputable decisions readers who are not educated in that field can't have an opinion the person's capabilities.

Reading that crap makes me grin as it's just part of the worldwide tendency to distrust experts in any field. So I smiled while reading domtoidi's sarcasm.

And there were true experts at the time, that didn't agree with the decision to build a ice wall.

True experts? Are you in the position to judge who's a 'true' expert and who's not?

And alternatives - well I'll leave that to the experts.

Now that's funny !

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hey, Netgrump. Thanks for getting it. There are some incredibly dedicated people working every day to try to fix the problems that they didn’t cause. They are not living in the past, they’re living in the present and the future.

And it’s a thankless job.

I suggest all of the generalists and know-it-all’s go work in Fukushima instead of whinging.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

50% reduction is pretty good to me because I did not expect that much. If they add a roof, there will be further reduction. Just keep trying, reducing here and reducing there. There is no other options except keep trying till the things get removed one day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

netgrump - thanks for the response.

And by "true experts" I don't mean by my acknowledged lack of discerning true or not, but by the plethora of comments over the past 7 years by people from famous institutions, who are well published and lotsa letters after their names.

You don't need to be an expert to recognize that the chances of these folks being "true experts" is extremely high.

Google the topic and 100's of scientists, engineers, theorists, professors etc names will come up. Simple.

And domtoiidi - I don't need to go and work in Fukushima to hold an informed opinion. Do you need to go to Russia and work to have an opinion on Putin?

That's why we have media, libraries, schools, internet, universities, discussion forums etc. - to inform us.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


in your previous comments you condemned the construction and cost of building the ice wall, and even for building the NPP in that location which you claimed had a history of powerful tsunami. So why the change of opinion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ zichi

Where [ and about what ] could we see the change of opinion of netizen domtoidi ? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As an engineer I'd like to see a clear description of the problem and not just complaints about failures in the work being done.

Just how is all of this water getting into the buildings? I thought that groundwater was the big problem.

Is rainwater getting into the buildings directly, or is it running on the ground? I know buildings 3 and 4 have fabricated covers. (If all else fails, blue tarp is an option.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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