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Fukushima plant's new ice wall not watertight, TEPCO says

40 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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40 Comments
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Why not stack 10,000 yen notes into a long, high wall to soak up the contaminated water, then keep adding more and more money as it gets saturated? A money wall. It has to be cheaper than the ice wall.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Fukushima plant's new ice wall not watertight, TEPCO says

Neither is the company. As leaky as a tea strainer

10 ( +12 / -2 )

And Abe wants to start up more reactors?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

For the amount of money they've sunk trying to fix this thing, they probably could have built a house for every family that is still displaced. It is sickening how those people are barely given a second though anymore.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Money pit.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Good old TEPCO -- "We were aware we should have done such and such months ago, but I defend my company's actions!" They could have reduced the water reaching the reactors significantly, and saved BILLIONS, but this way another company in cahoots with them gets billions more to try an experiment that is not only not a success, but that will require enough energy to power many of the houses right now in Kumamoto that have none. And no doubt TEPCO will even argue nuclear power is needed to provide power for the ice wall that is necessary because of the meltdown (that never happened).

2 ( +6 / -4 )

wontons: No kidding!

But hey, nuclear power is cheap and safe, right? haha.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am in no way at all a defender of TEPCO. However it is interesting to hear the comments about using concrete or building a concrete wall. This would cost far in excess of 32 Billion Yen as they would need to dig down into the earth, remove soil (potentially contaminated) and pour an enormous amount of concrete into the ground. With the ice wall they are using existing material (soil) and attempting to solidify it to divert water. It was never intended to divert 100% of the water but this will be a big improvement. Concrete (in this application) would not be 100% water tight either. Among the drawbacks of the ice wall is the ongoing electricity costs to keep it frozen. Personally I do not know which solution would be better but concrete is not as easy (or cheap) as people are making it out to be.

As far as total or near total encasement is concerned this is really not a viable solution at this point in time and into the near future - perhaps later in the game this would be the right course of action. This is a completely different animal than Chernobyl (which had no containment). I think they also need to verify where the corium are for unit 1, 2, and 3 (especially unit 1 - which likely melted through containment) prior to encasing. The very high radiation levels around the reactor buildings are also problematic.

Finally freezing the entire periphery would probably not make it water tight either.

This is a messed up solution and environmental disaster which will take 40 - 50 years to clean up. TEPCO failed to make modifications to the units which were made 20 years ago in the U.S. and EU and ignored the most recent warnings (around 2006) of seismologists, etc. that the design basis expected tsunami was too low. They also failed to postulate a station blackout and total loss of DC power (as stated in the NAIIC report presented to the National Diet in 2012) which is a very unrealistic assumption.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Did they intend for it to be water tight?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TEPCO where failure is job #1

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Oh come on, didn't people say this in the beginning: "It won't work".

But it is "just" 50 tons a day and "only" 35 billion Yen.

And I am sure that everything is still under control, I mean, they know it's 50 tons so someone must be out there and counting.

TEPCO - another 2020 goal ... one out of how many?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Cement is a better option to an icewall.... Entomb Fukushima Daiichi NPP.... It would be less costly to use cement and more effective....

1 ( +7 / -6 )

but coping with what to do with the resulting radiated water has been a major headache.

A major headache? How about a major environmental catastrophe! After five years of stuffing around they still have no idea how they are going to solve this problem. Meanwhile, hundreds of tons of highly irradiated water leeches into the pacific and thousands more end up in storage tanks around the site. Instead of stuffing around with untested technology that is crazily expensive and obviously doesn't work they should have dug a huge trench right around the plant and filled it with concrete and, by this time, they should also have one of those vinyl super structures covering the reactor housings to stop the rainwater entering. Do these clowns know what 'project management ' is? It just seems to me like, there has been nobody actually sit down and do risk assessments or project assessments.

I'm not saying this is an easy task, but surely, after more than five years they should have some sort of plan. They are no closer to solving the water storage and leeching problem today than they were five years ago. Yet, we have had the great leader Abe telling the Olympic committee, "It's all under control." It's not under control at all! It's under controlled!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

35 billion Yen could have encased the whole thing in concrete for that and have some change for the locals.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well of course it isn't. How will authorities be able to hire more private contractors to try to fix the problem if the problem is already fixed?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

utrack

Under the present site conditions If you can entomb Daichi Unit 1 for even 50 times that amount I think you will be hired Immediately and given a medal from the Emperor- Got to figure out where the fuel is first

Can you also cite a source for your number?

Thanks

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Entombing a reactor today cost 7 million US.

There has only ever been one reactor entombed, Chernobyl unit 4. The original was built under communist rule and started failing almost as soon as it was built. The replacement is estimated to cost almost 1.75 BILLION US, about 240 times your estimate and that containment does not include any underground wall (ice or cement).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Utrack, a real credible source would be nice. From the provided link;

There is elephant’s foot coming from reactor 4, which is produced from nuclear explosion.

How can a source be credible when it has dreck like this? Reactor 4 didn't even have any fuel and no nuclear explosion ever occurred.

It still remains a fact that the only entombment of a reactor ever actually done, not proposed, cost much much more than 7 million US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Fukushima plant's new ice wall not watertight, TEPCO says"

That's because it's not a wall at all, it's design is much closer to being the definition of an "ice fence".

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Okay. Enough is enough, who here with me wants to stage a protest against TEPCO's HQ here in Tokyo? I think we have the right as tax payers, paying for TEPCO's screw up.

Why are the executives still living the high life with huge salaries when they are requesting WE THE PEOPLE pay for their mistakes? This is just plain and simple stealing and we are letting it happen if they build this SCI-FI ice wall.

Anyone?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The ice wall is just a mean to divert tax money, suck it as black hole will do with matter.

Of course the wall will never work, TEPCO turned Fukushima into a water contamination machine and into a tax money jackpot for them and all the middle men.

Since the situation is under control, Tax payers should demanding the govt to exit TEPCO now. There is no reason anymore to inject money.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

32 billion yen and it doesn't work? Whoever could have predicted that?

What I don't understand is why the government has decided that this one situation is the only thing that can't be fixed by bunging a load of concrete all over it.

It's the default solution to every other problem here - why will only ice suffice in this one instance?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is this even news? I don't recall TEPCO saying that the ice wall would reduce the contamnated water flow to zero.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You are aware that the wall is underground to stop the seepage into surrounding soil.

Only an idiot would build an Ice-wall above ground where it is open to the ele!emtd.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mike O'Brien - you seem very defensive.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Its very simple call in a little Dutch kid he will say mister put your finger in the hole to stop the leak both ways Did not your dad teach you anything well if the ice wall still leaks around it finish building it to close up any gaps then fill the whole reactor with leaded concrete. Entomb it. Did they not burry Chernobyl , Why not ask for help from Putin and stop fighting amongst your so called experts. They have a Job to do Provide all the help and finance before you all die from the effects of Radiation. We don't want Japan continuing to Radiate the ocean Fish that we all eat at some time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Everyone is overlooking the fact that the NRA would not let Tepco freeze the entire periphery! It would likely become watertight if not for the NRA.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is TEPCO policy to announce worst possible case. What will actually need to be pumped and stored will undoubtedly be much lower than that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okay. Enough is enough, who here with me wants to stage a protest against TEPCO's HQ here in Tokyo? I think we have the right as tax payers, paying for TEPCO's F*** up.

Why are the executives still living the high life with huge salaries when they are requesting WE THE PEOPLE pay for their mistakes? This is just plain and simple stealing and we are letting it happen if they build this SCI-FI ice wall.

Anyone?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Contractor takes 35 billion for underground ice wall. Conversation goes like this:

Gov: "Did you build it?"

Contractor: "Yep"

Gov: digs (No ice) "Where's the ice?"

Contractor: "Hmm... must have melted. Want us to build another?"

Gov: "Yah, that will probably work."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gov: digs (No ice) "Where's the ice?"

What?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Did they not burry Chernobyl

Chernobyl has a cover built over it. They do not have a 100 foot deep wall around the buildings, because they don't have an issue with groundwater flow. Comparing Chernobyl's above ground cover to Fukushima's underground wall is of no use.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The ice walll sounds lke salmon fishing in Saudi Arabia

What if another quake hits Fukushima ?

Remove the nuclear debris by drones and drop them on Isis

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cement it water tight too and cheaper by far ... The criminal politician in Japan who stated entombment would be politically unacceptable needs a wake up call that is 5 years overdue.. Just like the entombment of Fukushima Daiichi NPP is 5 years overdue.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Entombing a reactor today cost 7 million US. That equals about 700 million yen a reactor

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Mike the replacement to the sarcophagi for Chernobyl is actually an overlay and will be comprised of Metal not Concrete.

Tokyo-Engr The US army offered to entomb the Fukushima Daiichi NPP when the triple nuclear meltdown incident first occurred the cost is from reading articles about said proposed entombment.

http://enenews.com/former-japan-official-us-army-planned-to-entomb-fukushima-reactors-days-after-311-given-permission-to-use-yamagata-airport

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No matter what, nuclear power plants should not be operating past 40 years.

No reactor should be used past 40yrs, NONE!

Why not?

The 40 years was a WAG with no basis in facts or science. Since the time that number was pulled out of someone's orifice actual science and facts have shown that it was overly conservative and that with appropriate safety checks a reactor can be safely operated for at least 60 years.

There are close to 60 reactors around the world currently in operation that exceed 40 years old. With a dozen or so more which will surpass 40 years old within a few years and with no plans o close them at that time. And there are a few in operation that are close to or exceed 50 years.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cement is so cheap I Will Pay to have Fukushima Daiichi NPP Entombed in Cement... J Govt just send me the bill ..... I am serious

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

That the ice wall leaks is about as unexpected as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. My own theory (pure speculation I would emphasize) is that Tepco is going through the motions of trying to solve the problem so they can later say, "We've tried everything. Nothing works. We have to dump in the ocean."

Might make for a good lottery. Hold a contest to see who comes closest to predicting the day and hour when they make the announcement that they have to dump and they are going to dump.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Cement is a better option to an icewall

No it isn't.

Instead of stuffing around with untested technology that is crazily expensive and obviously doesn't work they should have dug a huge trench right around the plant and filled it with concrete and, by this time

It isn't untested technology. And digging a 100 foot deep trench and filling it with concrete WHILE there is still a flow of hundreds of tons of water a day would have been an engineering, safety and radiation nightmare.

32 billion yen and it doesn't work? Whoever could have predicted that?

It does work. There was never a claim that it would stop 100% of the groundwater. In fact the NRA was afraid that it might stop TOO MUCH of the water, so they currently have not approved turning the entire wall on.

35 billion Yen could have encased the whole thing in concrete for that and have some change for the locals.

Not underground they couldn't.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

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