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Nuclear regulator OKs plan to build underground ice wall at Fukushima plant

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TEPCO was unable to build any quality water holding tanks, I can only imagine how the freeze wall will turn out.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Under the plan, which is funded by the government,

Correction -- it is funded by the working stiffs of Japan.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Japan’s nuclear regulator on Monday approved a plan to freeze the soil under the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to try to slow the build-up of radioactive water, officials said.

The word that I really don't like in this sentence is "try."

Please, TEPCO, don't "try" to slow the build-up of radioactive water. Actually DO it!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wasn't it last month we were reading that experts had serious doubts that this would work?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

CrickyMay. 27, 2014 - 09:00AM JST

Wasn't it last month we were reading that experts had serious doubts that this would work?

You must be talking about this article.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/experts-question-ice-wall-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant

or

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/experts-ice-wall-japan-nuclear-plant-083729462.html

Dale Klein, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman who now heads a supervisory panel for TEPCO, said he was not convinced the frozen wall is the best option and is worth the high cost. He also suggested that the government and TEPCO review the plan to balance risk and benefit and see whether they should spend the money elsewhere.

He is suggesting the money should be spent elsewhere, such as his salary, and let the contaminated water run into the Ocean, because the contamination is diluted and the risk is "low".

I think the ice wall will work. The last thing we need is the consultant like Dale Klein and people who support "low cost, low risk" solution like he does.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Build the freeze wall then Entomb Daiichi thereafter...

-1 ( +1 / -1 )

"This is from only last week:

*The Nuclear Regulation Authority said plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has yet to submit documents demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the project, which is unprecedented in scale.

“We believed that we had already gained the NRA’s understanding,” a ministry official said.*

http://fukushimaupdate.com/work-on-frozen-soil-walls-at-fukushima-plant-hits-glitch/

Whatever could have happened since then to change the experts' minds?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Meanwhile the melted corium is still on the move and far too dangerous to be cleaned up using conventional means! This is akin to putting a finger into a dyke to stop the flooding.....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But, the thing with this plan is, if there is a breakdown of the equipment, which seems to happen regularly there will be a major release of contaminated water. I also have doubts about the long-term effectiveness of this plan. It may stop water get into the plant and also stop water escaping the plant, however, like all dams they get full if the water is not released. There plan should be to stop the water getting to the plant in the first place. The whole scenario in Fukushima seems to be just a continuing list of bandaid fixes with no predictions or conclusions about he long term outcome. They already have over a thousand full tanks of contaminated water they cannot deal with. Their water treatment facility cannot handle the amount if tainted water bring produced and it regularly breaks down. It's been nearly three and a half years since the disaster and very little has been achieved.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There was a fascinating investigation on VICE last week. Some chap from METI went with them to near the site, refusing to wear any form of protective clothing because he wanted to show there was nothing to worry about. Then two chaps from TEPCO appeared in full hazmat gear and turned their car around. The METI chap refused to speculate on why they were not being allowed to film.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

another publicity announcement of a scheme that will likely be as botched as all oft he previous attempts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow, just a few days ago they decided it was fine to dump hundreds of tons of waste water right into the ocean. If that' so safe, why even bother building an ice wall?

Oh, yea, because then TEPCO wouldn't be able to fleece the government (taxpayers) for even MORE money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They almost want it to fail so they can spend more money

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The ice wall will be 27 metres deep (90ft) and from refrigeration plants pump down coolant at -20 to -40 deg C. The length of the ice wall will be 1.4 km (0.9 miles)

Dale Klein, who chairs TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee has suggested the project needs risk assessment.

It will cost ¥32 billion ($313 million). The costs always end up higher than first stated. The company building it is Kajima Corp.

The project is due to finish construction by Mar. 2015.

TEPCO and Kajima are making tests which Dale stated from the technical info, the ice wall is not the best solution but since its a promise made by the Abe gov't, the outcome of the testing may not be enough to overcome the political policy?

Previously, on May 4, other experts and NRA officials also criticised the ice wall project.

Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said the hydrological impact of creating a frozen wall in the area was unclear.

Another project nearby is to pump the groundwater into storage tanks before releasing into the ocean. This will reduce the amount of stored contaminated water by 100 tons per day.

There needs to be a separate audit of all the money given to TEPCO to ensure the public money isn't being wasted. To date, TEPCO have received ¥10 trillion and will need another ¥25 trillion over the next 10 years.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

zichiMay. 27, 2014 - 01:59PM JST

Is there any valid criticism against the ice wall other than the price? It is reported that Kajima has used the same ice wall technique to make under sea tunnels.

Another project nearby is to pump the groundwater into storage tanks before releasing into the ocean.

That project may work for a while, but unlikely to be a permanent measure. If we keep sucking the ground water from the uncontaminated well near the melt down reactors, the contaminated water under the reactors will be drawn to the well to make it contaminated. At that time the project will fail. In addition, the ground on which the reactors were built will sink due to loss of under ground water, to make them vulnerable to earthquakes. Many of the Japanese experts on the government board points out the riskiness of the pumping project and I agree with them.

There needs to be a separate audit of all the money given to TEPCO to ensure the public money isn't being wasted.

Sure enough. But what does that have to to with the ice wall?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CH3CHO,

Is there any valid criticism against the ice wall other than the price?

This is probably the single most expensive project so far at the nuclear disaster site. ¥32 billion, and probably set to rise and does not include running and maintenance costs. I would hope at least some sort of expert panel have reviewed all the options including constructing a river/canal or a huge lake or reservoir which could both collect the groundwater and supply water to the nuclear disaster site. As I already indicated, some officials of the NRA have criticised the project which wasn't money related?

But I hope at the end science will win regardless of the political policies?

It is reported that Kajima has used the same ice wall technique to make under sea tunnels.

Sorry, I don't know anything about that?

Another project nearby is to pump the groundwater into storage tanks before releasing into the ocean. That project may work for a while, but unlikely to be a permanent measure. If we keep sucking the ground water from the uncontaminated well near the melt down reactors, the contaminated water under the reactors will be drawn to the well to make it contaminated. At that time the project will fail.

TEPCO intends to run both projects which will be required if its to succeed. The ice wall will only prevent the groundwater from reaching the site of the nuclear disaster but the amount of water will build up and if not removed in some way will over run the ice wall?

Since the groundwater runs downhill from the mountains start to the ocean I doubt the water will run backwards from the nuclear disaster.

In addition, the ground on which the reactors were built will sink due to loss of under ground water, to make them vulnerable to earthquakes. Many of the Japanese experts on the government board points out the riskiness of the pumping project and I agree with them.

According to TEPCO the original reason for reducing the hill at the site, which also reduced it to sea level, was so the reactors could be constructed on bed rock. If that is correct then the lack of groundwater under the nuclear disaster site won't lead to a collapse of the reactors? Basically, there are no longer any reactors, just very expensive scrap and more than 70% of the nuclear fuel melted and lies somewhere, but TEPCO does not know where?

There needs to be a separate audit of all the money given to TEPCO to ensure the public money isn't being wasted. Sure enough. But what does that have to with the ice wall?

I already stated the ice wall is the most expensive project to date. The public have the right to know that their money is not being wasted and is getting value for every single yen spent.

The cost of the nuclear disaster after 100 years could easily be more than $1 trillion.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why are references to corruption (that's obvious) being deleted???

Moderator: Because it's slander, unless, of course, you can post proof.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What an expensive project for something to be a temporally solution... it's like building a motor to move a fan so it can cool the motor

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Do or do not, there is no try. " - Yoda

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It can never stop the water completely because they keep pumping in water themselves to "COOL'THE CORES ( WELL CORIUMS ACTUALLY ) to keep them cool . How effective that is nobody knows. They cant even tell where the coriums are and how much water is in contact with which part where etc etc . SO they keep pouring hundreds of tons into this huge mess with leaks all over the place , they pump it in from one side and they try to recouperate it from the other ,, what happens in between nobody knows ,, but they keep loosing water , they know it cause the amount they get out of it less than they put in it . So it leaks ,, that they know .

The Icewall is supposed to block clean water coming in from the hill behind entering the site and creating even more polluted water , but even IF ( and that s a big IF ) it would work , the amount they are pumping in will not change , and they will still keep producing polluted water . Where will all that water eventually go is a subject they dont like to talk about but in the end it will go into the ocean ,, they are just trying make us get used to this idea ,, in time .

The cost of the icewall is ofcourse a big issue but technically it is just an experiment and nobody kn0ows if it will work , and even if it does it doesnt solve the whole issue ,but only a part of the problem Fukushima is a huge experiment ,, and we are the guinea pigs ,, whether we want it or not ,, unfortunately .

1 ( +3 / -2 )

they know it cause the amount they get out of it less than they put in it

I believe they get more out than they put in because of the groundwater entering the site. That is why the ice wall was proposed to reduce the water addition from the groundwater.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At least tax payers know they will get less then they put in, it's already been discredited as a solution, after 3 years there must be a better idea than this. I was under the impression that the N - industry was paying insurance to cover calamities. It would appear not! I was under the impression that it was a responsible accident free industry, I was told it was safe cheep power, it appears not. Trust us we know what we are doing, it appears not. Now they spend more money on an idea that experts say will fail? Who gets the money and do I get a recite for my wasted money. I seriously want my money back after paying for such a defective product that can't be fixed and is an ongoing bourdon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

l look at photographs of the Daiichi plant and its location and can not help but think that the "groundwater" is from the ocean and not some hill... The explosion and triple melt-through could have caused this.....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And Abe wants to get more reactors going!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

it's already been discredited as a solution

No it hasn't. Some agree it is a good solution while otehrs disagree or had questions.

Now they spend more money on an idea that experts say will fail?

Some experts believe it will reduce groundwater flow, other experts had questions that were addressed and other experts think there are better choices and still other experts believe it will fail. Only listening to the side you agree with is not a valid method.

but think that the "groundwater" is from the ocean and not some hill

In which case it would contain high levels of NaCl, which it doesn't. And if it was seawater inflow then contaminated water would reach the ocean as the flow would be the other direction.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

mike

I believe they get more out than they put in

i am referring to the units themselves , and as total balance . You are right in the end balance is in PLUS ofcourse for the site since they have to put all the extra water in those tanks , but that water is not coming only from what they pump in ,, underground water is feeding it as well and you need take that into calculations . In units themselves , unfortunately there are still a lot of leaks ( which they still keep discovering ) and a lot of highly radioactive water is leaking out into the groundwater and eventually into the sea ,( thus negative balance ) ,and that s what i meant , they keep LOOSING a lot of conatminated water into the environment and eventually into the sea NOT GAINING !!!

So to make a long story short , they are LOOSING water instead of gaining it as you claim ,, and all that lost water is highly contaminated and going into the sea , so the total balance is a MINUS ,, not a PLUS . In fact they even know how much they are loosing,, around 300 tons according to TEPCO themsleves. You just need take into your considerations , the amount of water running into the site by the undferground river as well . Unless you do that you are miscalculating and misinforming . There is no gain but loss of water , and all that LOST water is going straight into the ocean as highly contaminated water. .

You are getting ( giving) the wrong impression by thinking they get MORE out then they put in, cause you dont take into account that there is an underground water addign to it continuously . it is in fact the opposite , they LOOSE about 300 tons of it everyday ( and even that is a mild estimation according to some scientists ) . No GAIN but loss ,, gone ,, into the sea ,, every day ,, 300 tons of it .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Imo this Ice Wall is wrong "but" a Way to solve the Problem!

I hope they do not forget to create a Switch for every single Group of this "Ice Rods".

I doubt a sinking of the Reactors, this is imo only Fear-mongering.

Stupid is only the Price and the waste of Energy!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

spucky The icewall can only solve "a part of the problem " if it works , and that s a big IF . Not everyone believes that it would work .

There is a continuous flow of underground water into the site so the site is saturated with water and when they block that water flow it is normal to expect SOME sinking of the plants , but how much they are going to sink is just a guess since this kind of problems have never happened before ,, simply nobody knows. It is definitely not fear mongering ,experts agree that it could sink ,, what they dont agree on is how much it would sink .

It is a big experiment and nobody knows the outcome and the worst part is , its all left to TEPCO to deal with , ,,we all know how capable and honest they are so better keep our fingers crossed, .

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Mike O'Brien

but think that the "groundwater" is from the ocean and not some hill

In which case it would contain high levels of NaCl, which it doesn't. And if it was seawater inflow then contaminated water would reach the ocean as the flow would be the other direction.

l already answered this.... NaCl (Sodium chloride, also known as salt )

Wastewater Treatment at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant

Kurion delivered the first-ever external cooling system for a nuclear reactor, which was responsible for 70% of the radioactivity removed from the water in the first nine months of operation Fukushima, Japan

http://www.kurion.com/applications/separation/fukushima

One year after the tsunami, the water cooling system had processed more than 258,780 MT (68 million gallons), reduced salinity by almost 90% and was estimated to have removed about 12 million curies (4.4 x 1017 Becquerel) of the estimated original 13.6 million cesium curie inventory (5 x 1017 Becquerel)”

Reduced salinity by almost 90%

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In the end the radioactive isotopes produced by those coriums will eventually spread all over the place . There is no way men can contain somtething with a half life of hundreds of thousands of years . We can try to contain some of it for a short while but in the long run nothing man made can last that long . There is no solution to radioactive waste ( and the coriums ) and all they ever did untill now has been keeping it out of sight and out of mind but we are not ostriches and those are not solutions . Dumping radioactive waste into the oceans , into landfills , , building icewall s are NOT SOLUTIONS !!! These are temporary 'feel good ' choices so that we can feel as if something is getting done .

There is only one solution and that is to stop producing more radioactive waste ,,, to stop nuclear industry totally . That can only be achived if people get informed and stop believing the pronuke propaganda they get from the media and the governments . Pronuke propganda can make some people rich ,, can even help some win elections even but in the long run we all loose .

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

all that LOST water is going straight into the ocean as highly contaminated water

Then how do the ocean samples not show the effects of this ongoing LOSE of highly contaminated water?

Reduced salinity by almost 90%

And I have already addressed this. If seawater was continually flowing into the plants the the salinity would not decrease, as your own source says. There is residue from the initial use of seawater for emergency cooling, but there is NO indication that more seawater is being added.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mike ////Then how do the ocean samples not show the effects of this ongoing LOSE of highly contaminated water?////

According to whom ? Tepco ? All is fine and dandy ;)

But nothing can stop you from getting informed on internet .

Dont believe everything you hear ,, do your research ,,or you can wait a few more years and hear them admit that the "the levels were actually much higher than previously thought ' but we all got used to these kinds of 'IN RETROSPECT MISCALCULATIONS "news from tepco right / :)

PS ; even tepco admitted they loose 300 tons a day ,, which probably is much higher than that ,, knowing how they deal with the info , nothing surprises me anymore.

About seawater salinity ;;; at the moment it is generally accepted that there is an underground flow of water from the hills behind the plant ,, going undernmeath the plant ,, mixing ( getting polluted with ) highly radioactive isotopes ( in contact with the coriums ) and continuing further into the ocean carrying the isotopes with it . So seawater is kept out ,, That is the situation NOW ,, what will happen when they stop the inflow of all that water ??? is anybodies guess. What will happen with the buildings and coriums underneath them ?? will they crack ,, will they sink ,, noone knows cause there has never been a case like this and now there are three of them ,,, units 1 2 and 3 .

Its a big mess and a big mistake to leave it all to Tepco to deal with ,, everyone knows it , and yet still they are in charge ,, unbelievable.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

About seawater salinity ;;;

So you are saying that Utrack is wrong?

According to whom ?

According to all the different groups that have and continue to conduct testing, not just Tepco.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

////So you are saying that Utrack is wrong?////

No that s not what i am saying ,, but thanks for trying to create conflict between us , the members of this site ,, i said what i wanted to say and it should be clear ,if you read above . , Meaning nobody knows EXACTLY ,,, PRECISELY , whats going on down there specially when they build an icewall , everybody is just guessing , that s why they call it an experiment .

///According to all the different groups that have and continue to conduct testing, not just Tepco.////

I dont know what groups you are talking about but there seems to exist groups ( experts ) who are even worried about the radioactivity influencing the west coast of USA ,, Well just to make it clear,,'' that is on the other side of the pacific ocean '' ,, all you have to do is type in radioactive plume ,, west coast ,, and you can get enough articles on that . I think even only THAT says enough .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No that s not what i am saying

You can't both be right, so one of you must be wrong

I think even only THAT says enough .

Well that has nothing to do with highly contaminated water currently going into the ocean off Fukushima. And I don't know what 'experts' you mean. Because all the experts I have read say yes we will be able to detect it (mostly because the Cs-134 can only have come from Fukushima) but it will be at levels far to low to be of any concern. Although it will add to our knowledge of the long term current flows and mixing in the Northern Pacific ocean.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

here is an expert ,, a japanese doctor talking about fukushima and the REAL radiation levels and health risks ,,check out the link below.

http://nuclear-news.net/category/2-world/asia/japan-asia/fukushima-2014/

,, get informed ,, dont believe everything you read / hear on main stream media ,, peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There are probably more reasons behind this colossally expensive ice wall than we have been told so far. Otherwise how could such a monstrosity be justified?

The wall is to be built right around the plant, to curtain the four reactors from the hills, and to slide between the four reactors and the sea, in effect to totally enclose the plant. 90 feet deep into the ground. Bet they are wishing they could provide an ice floor under the plant too.

I wonder if it is a preliminary to isolating, then surrounding, then possibly freezing or solidifying the three melted-down coriums/coria, since no-one knows exactly where they have burrowed themselves down to. If they can slow down the corium reactions, then possibly they will be able to reduce the amount of fresh radiation being generated into the air, ground and waters, at least during our lifetimes. (?)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The wall is to be built right around the plant, to curtain the four reactors from the hills, and to slide between the four reactors and the sea

No, it is only being built between the hills and the reactor buildings.

then possibly they will be able to reduce the amount of fresh radiation being generated

The amount of radioactive material in the melted cores was set when the melting occurred. No new radioactive material is being created. In fact the radiation levels from the cores has been and will continue to slowly decrease as radioactive decay occurs.

There is nothing that can physically be done to reduce the amount of radiation the cores are emitting. They can be shielded which would reduce the amount outside the shield, but the amount emitted wouldn't change.

And if the ice wall was intended as some kind of radiation shield (which it is not) then there are much better choices of what to build it out of, things that wouldn't require a constant supply of effort to maintain.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, it is only being built between the hills and the reactor buildings.

I thought that too, that the ice wall was to be constructed between the mountains and the site of the nuclear disaster site but I think its being built around the No1-4 reactor buildings in a rectangle shape.

http://digitaljournal.com/img/8/4/3/0/8/3/i/1/8/7/o/ice_wall.JPG

http://www.dvice.com/sites/dvice/files/styles/blog_post_media/public/fukuicwll97097.jpg?itok=iCX9MQDR

3 ( +3 / -0 )

nadakandamanda I totally agree with your worries about the icewall ,, it is an experiment ,, nobody knows what s going to happen when its built , but on the other hand ,, i dont see any other solution proposals either ,,its like all the nuvclear experts in the world are gone extinct and TEPCO is the only company left ,,, where is everywone ??? what other solutions are there ? ??? where are all the experts ?? We dont hear anything anymore , why ?

Why they want to go with the plan seems to be more like a publicity stunt ,, as if saying "we have done something ,, its working ,, the problem is solved " an excuse to produce any lie about it , that s what i think about it .

I dont think it is possible to freeze the coriums , they will keep producing radiation and isotopes for a long time to come and nobody can do much about that . All they can do is put as much iso0lating material between the coria and the environmaent ,, mainly water ,, and with the icewall they are cutting off the major water supply as well ,, so what s going to happen next is a mystery .

Mike o brien Everything you claim in your comments are false / misinfo ,, except from this sentence '' There is nothing that can physically be done to reduce the amount of radiation the cores are emitting '' the only correct sentence in your comment ,, Get informed ,, peace .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

johndpugh, Unsupported claims are easy to make. I suggest you follow your own advice.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

mike exactly , everything in your comment is wrong (well except from that one sentence i mentioned before :))) ,,

1; the icewall is not going to be built ONLY between the plants and the hill ,( i am not even going to explain that , i tried it several times before but you dont seem to get it ,,,please check ZIchi s comment above on that, he/ she even gave links to schematic drawings of the icewall hope it helps ) ,

2; the coriums keep producing radioactive isotopes since day one and that s excatly whats going into those tanks in the tank farm , they are filling up thoise tanks with water polluted by the isotopes which are !!!!PRODUCED BY THE CORIUMS !!!!you have no idea what you are talking about lol :).

3; The icewall IS intended as a shield ,, to prevent leakage of radioactive isotopes into the underground water/ environment ,,( the isotopes which are PRODUCED by the coriums !!!!) ,, their function is to prevent water from coming into contact with coriums ,,thus preventing the pollution of underground water from radioactive isotopes ,thus AS A SHIELD !!!! ,

4 ; quote // . No new radioactive material is being created//// which is also totally wrong . You have no idea what you are talking about ,, have no knowledge of nuclear chemistry ,,,you are just making things up as you go , and spreading misinformation . If you like i can send links to get better informed on all of the above mentioned issues but i am sure you can also search and find everything you want on internet . Either Get informed or stop commenting man,, you are making a big mess out of it lol :)) peace.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

john

You never tried to explain it, much less several times. Zichi explained it once with a source and now I understand that my belief was wrong. I was mistaking a map of the groundwater diversion wells as a map of the ice wall piping. The 'coriums' do not keep producing radioactive isotopes. Once the delicate geometry of a reactor core with moderation was lost, fission stopped and thus the production of new isotopes stopped. The water polluted with isotopes are polluted with isotopes that were produced 3 years ago The ice wall is intended to block groundwater from leaking into the buildings, it is not to shield radiation Yeah, 3 years of schooling and thousands of hours in operation with periodic relicensing. Yeah I don't know anything.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mike, if fission of all three has stopped, what is/was in their nature that they continue(d) to 'eat' downwards? Was it simply their heat that was able to melt concrete, steel etc.? Have they 'stopped' moving down, as long as they are (semi) covered in water? In other words, would 'China Syndrome' need the corium to be undergoing continuous fission in order to keep boring down?

Also my understanding has been that the cooling water they have been pouring into the reactors is then pumped out and stripped of most of its radioisotopes by the partly-functioning ALPS system et al, (apart from what water escapes through numerous leaks) but as it is recycled, it gains radioactive particles once more and thus has to repeatedly undergo the cleaning and filtering process. You are saying that the radioactive bits that it picks up are semi-degraded isotopes, so we should be happier, especially over the ones with shorter-half-lives?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This link also shows a very good diagram of the ice wall and what's involved. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201406030043

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nandakandmanda Mike is misinforming , radioactive decay in coria is producing isotopes ( and lots of energy , thus the heat ) and that icewall is meant to prevent those isotopes leaking into underground water . That is the whole purpose of the icewall , to prevent / decrease further pollution of underground water and the ocean , otherwise they wouldnt build it in the first place . Its meant to form a barrier between coria ( isotopes ) and the clean underground water , to prevent ( or better said decrease ) the pollution of the undergraound water by the coria . Mike is just playing with woords to make everything sound much different ( milder) than how it actually is . The glass is half full, half empty story . Lets put it this way ( and see what he will come up with next ;) ) on one side you have clean underground water , on the other coriums and in between you have the icewall seperatiing them . Why you may ask ? to decrease the pollution of clean water with isotopes ( produced by the radioactive decay in coria ) . Now mike likes to call it , to prevent water coming into the basements ,, just to pretend its something else but the end result is the same ,, water comes in ,, gets polluted ,, leaves from the other end ,, now you can say clean water CAME in and got polluted ,, or you can say dirty water LEAKED OUT ,, in the end the same story ,, the function of the icewall is to PREVENT CLEAN WATER getting polluted . Whether you see it as a block from the hill side for coming in clean water or as a block from the ocean side for dirty water leaving ,, it is the SAME THING !!! Icewall is to block water pollution by the isotopes ,, no matter how you put it ,, its a shield between clean water on one side and isotopes on the other . That is its purpose ,, thats why its getting built . This is the very LAST TIME i am discussing it .

China syndrome is a myth , nobody thinks it can really happen . Its basically being used as a synonym for a meltdown .

Mike , radioactive decay produces 3 things ,, 1= HEAT ,,, 2= RADIATION ,, 3= ISOTOPES ( popularly called daughters or daughter nuclides ) ,,

Zichi Thanks for the link ,, it is very clear in the drawing ( in your link ) that ground water is coming in from the hill side , on the left where it says GROUNDWATER ,, gets contaminated (in the units 1 2 and 3 ,, ) and leaves on the ocean side ( right side in the drawing where it says divert into ocean ) . Now the icewall is to block that ,, whether you call it clean water coming in ''from left '' and getting contaminated or contaminated water leaking out '' from the right '' ,, it comes down to the same thing ,, icewall is to block clean water from getting contaminated .

In short they want to decrease the huge amounts of water getting contaminated by the isotopes produced by the coria , and NO it is not like there was some isotopes in that water and they are getting flushed out and it will end soon ,( as mike implies ) ) , absolutely not ,,If it was that simple it would have been cleaned out by now ,, they have been flushing it for three years ,,

There are many isotopes ( daughters ) produced by radioactive decay and depending on their half lives some may stay producing radioactivity for even thousands of years and keep polluitng far into the future after we are all gone .

All this chaos and word tricks are ( deliberately or not ) , creating confusion to make this disaster look milder than what it actually is . There seems to be a deliberate attempt by many to downplay the fukushima disaster in any way they can . These kinds of discussions will not yield any results and people will learn the truth sooner or later .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mike, if fission of all three has stopped, what is/was in their nature that they continue(d) to 'eat' downwards?

Where is some actual proof that they continue to 'eat' downwards?

You are saying that the radioactive bits that it picks up are semi-degraded isotopes, so we should be happier, especially over the ones with shorter-half-lives?

I have no idea what a 'semi-degraded isotope' is, so your question makes no sense. What we should be happy about is that the water being pumped out of the building continues to show lowering levels of radioactive particles. Indicating that the inventory of soluable particles is decreasing.

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Mike That s correct ,, the particles decrease in time ,, mostly short lived ones ,, as an example if you have lodine witjh a half life of 8 days ,, well more or less over 8 to 10 half lives the levels drop drastically . That s why some experts suggested to burry the whole site ,,, walk away for a few decades and come back later to try to find a solution when the levels are3 lower. The problem with fukushima is that its not only polluting upwards , into the air but also down into the water as well ,, so it makes it much harder than chernobyl to manage and most does not believe entombing it would solve much of the problems . Even thqugh icewall has been criticized by many ( well including me ) , IF they manage to make it work without causing much problems , and they manage to stop the leakage ,, or lets say pollution of underground waters maybe then they can still build something on top ,, like a sarchopage ,, and burry it / entomb it ,, at least for the while being . Some suggetsed burrying it under lead , boron , cement etc etc but they did not go along with the idea becaue of the water pollution issue ,, but If the icewall works , maybe those choices may come on the discussion table again .

In my opinion there s too little done about it ,, there should be much more international teams , experts , organisations ,, universities to deal with the problem and different teams should be working simultaneaoulsy on different units / aspects not to loose time . But somehow its not happening ,, This problem is too large for only TEPCO to deal with and even for Japan and it should concern other countries as well . A nuclear accident is not a national catastrophy but involves everyone on the planet . That is only my opinion ,,

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the particles decrease in time ,, mostly short lived ones

No John the ALL decrease with time, the short lived and the long lived ones.

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////No John the ALL decrease with time, the short lived and the long lived ones.////

1=You have to read carefully what i wrote ,, i said ""MOSTLY"" short lived ones ,, every isotope decreases to half of its mass at the end of its half life ,, if you have 100 kg of iodine with a half life of 8 days , at the end of 8 days you have 50 kg s of it left . If you have 100 kg of xxxxium with a half life of 500,000 years you will have 50 kg s of it after 250,000 year s. However , it can be practical to entomb the site and wait a few decades for the short lived ones to decrease , but i dont think we can wait 250,00 years ,, its not really practical . Thats why they suggested to burry the site and walk away from it for a few decades .

2=Well ofcourse TIME is relative isnt it . Wait long enough and all will be gone ,, there wont be any radioactivity at all ,, theoretically at least ,, even the long lived ones with millions of years of half lives will decrease to negligible levels ,, but then again millions of years is a long time to wait isnt it ? I dont think they can entomb the site and wait a few million years ,, by that time there wont be any fukushima ,, even japan itself will be long gone ,, so YES ,, even though over millions of years all radioactivity will decrease to negligible levels , it is not practical to plan for such long periods . But theoretically you are right ,, it all decreases in time ,,even the sun will go out one day .

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You have to read carefully what i wrote ,, i said ""MOSTLY"" short lived ones

I did read what you wrote, I read it very closely. And as you agree you said MOSTLY, when the fact is that EVERY radionuclide decreases with time.

If you have 100 kg of xxxxium with a half life of 500,000 years you will have 50 kg s of it after 250,000 year s.

No if you have 100 kg of xxxxium with a 500,000 year half-life you will have about 70.7 kg of it after 250,000 years.

so YES ,, even though over millions of years all radioactivity will decrease to negligible levels , it is not practical to plan for such long periods

And I never suggested planning for such long periods. So I don't understand why it was brought up.

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oops my mistake ,sorry :), you are right ,, if you have 100 kg s of xxxium with half life of 500,000 years . then you should have only half of it ,, so 50 kgs at the end of 500,000 years ,, my mistake sorry . Instead of taking the half of the weight i also took the half of the time period :) A big OOOOPSSS !!! :) That s what happens when you try to post comments in a short time . So basically its not 250,000 ,,, but 500,000 years ,, which actually makes my case even stronger but yes , it was my mistake and thank you for correcting me , i should have written 500,000 years .

So basically no matter what kind of isotope you have it will have half of the amount left at the end of its half life .(thats why its called a half life ). I think it s simple enough that everyone can understand .

In any case , the point is , that entombing the site to wait a few decades means mostly short lived isotopes would decrease in that time , ,, with other words if they would decide to go with that "entombing "plan , they would cover the whole site up ,or burry it , ( something similar to what they did in chernobyl ) and at the end of that period , mostly short lived isotopes would be decreased . If they would reopen it after a few decades and try to deal with it then , they would have much less amounts of short lived isotopes , then the long lived ones . . And that s what i mean by "mostly short lived ones would be gone " meaning in that waiting period of a few decades ,, you wouldnt expect much change in the amount of xxium with a half life of 500,000 years would you ? If it was 100 kg initially , may be it would go down a few miligrams or so ?? . SO even tough your claim is technically correct , in the practice its irrelelvant . the waiting period of a few decades is mostly done / planned mainly to decrease the amount of short lived isotopes . And that s why the plan of entombing the site could be reconsidered if the icewall works ofcourse (if it doesnt cause any other unexpected catastrophies ) .

So as a simple answer ,, YES ,, even the long half life radionuclides will decrease in that short time as well , but it will be at INSIGNIFICANT amounts which are IRRELEVANT to the entombing ,,unless we have such long time periods ( sometimes millions of years ) to wait these are negligible values . SO in that sense the highest decreases will be in short lived isotopes in such short periods like a few decades , that s what i mean by "mostly short lived ones will decrease " . The ones with huge half lives will not change much , maybe statistically / theoretically they will , but in the practice the amounts are so tiny that it doesnt make much difference, on the other hands the short half life isotopes can have major decreases . As an example: SO if we go back to the example before ,100 kg of iodine with 8 day half life ( or any other short lived isotope ) may decrease to milligrams/ micrograms / nanograms over a couple of decades ,, but on the other hand xxxium with half life of 500,000 years may decrease to 99,99xx kg s after a few decades ,, meaning its negligible . Yes theoretically correct but in real life situation doesnt mean much :)

///And I never suggested planning for such long periods. So I don't understand why it was brought up.///

The reason is that , the above mentioned plan (entombing the site for some decades ) is a real suggestion by some experts ,, and can be applied if the icewall works ,, but waiting for thousands of years for long lived isotopes to decrease is not part of the plan ,, yeah i know , even in a few decades the long lived ones will decresase as well but 100 kg or 99,999 kgs of some super toxic stuff doesnt mean much difference , does it ?.

We must not forget that just as fukushima is leaking into the groundwaters its also leaking into the atmosphere . It s mostly invisible and only at cold winter days they talk about STEAM coming at certain locations etc , but it doesnt mean STEAMING stops at hotter days ,, we just dont see it because the wetaher is just not cold . Compare it to running in cold winter weather when you have steam coming out of your breath than doing the same thing on a hot summer day , where you wont see anything . Similar thing is going on at fukushima .( and i dont wish to get into a discussion of if TEPCO is doing good measurements etc etc , cause i stopped listening to those lies long time ago ) In any case , Continuous leakage (steaming ) into the air has been going on and thats why most people are not satisfied with just an icewall , which could help against water pollution but would not do much against air pollution . Some even worry that icewall might cause more steaming than it does now , thus making the situation even worse by causing more air pollution . . Lets just hope they are wrong . It s a big experiemnt and we happen to be the guinea pigs ,, unwillingly ,, unfortunately ,, :(

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but 100 kg or 99,999 kgs of some super toxic stuff doesnt mean much difference , does it ?.

But radioactive things with very long half-lives have correspondingly large specific activities. Basic it means 1 kg of a long half-life material put outs significantly less radiation than 1 kg of a short half-life material. For example 1 kg of Cs-134 is over 3.5 Billion times as radioactive as 1 kg of U-238.

Most of the heat and radiation from spent nuclear fuel, which is essentially what we are talking about in the melted cores, is from materials with short half-lives. That is why initially spent fuel is kept in spent fuel pools, so the water can provide cooling and radiation shielding. But after a few years that level of cooling and shielding is no longer need and the spent fuel can be transferred to dry casks for long term storage. Just natural convection air flow over the outside of the cask provides enough cooling and the cask walls provide sufficient shielding.

And just like the 'steam' from your mouth on a cold day, the 'steam' seen at Fukushima on cold days is just water.

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mike FIrst of all you are only making my statement even stronger with these kinds of comments ,, basically claiming that short half life isotopes are much more important than long half life ones in their out put ,, thus making that "" entombing "" plan becomes even more plausible doesnt it ? If the short lived ones are more important lets just wait for a while it will be fine ,,,

Unfortunately you are cutting it too short through the corners, and you are giving the wrong impressisons about the short / long lived isotopes .,,it is not that simple ,,,again your information is half correct ,, you leave out some rather important bits :) its weird cause you seem to know a lot about nuclear energy but seem to cherry pick only the information that you like and leave out the rest , hmmm ,,

Short answer : You forgot the TIME factor ???? Short lived isotopes can have a higher output but long lived isotopes wiill stay around longer and will have much more time to do much more damage . Well tahts the short answer ,,

The long answer involves the sensitivity of different tissues to radiation ; the metabolism of the tissue / organism ; the similarity of the molecular structure of a certain isotope to a certain non radioactive metabolic or structural chemical ; the developmental stage of the cells / organism ; the concentration of other similar chemicals in the environment; the way it enters the body/ organism ; the properties of the daughter products etc etc etc ,, so its not just as simple as to say "short lived ones are more radioactive so more harmfull " On the contrary we should worry just as much as the long lived ones as the short lived ones . The only reason that idea of entombing and waiting for a few decades is considered is because it can make the site more workable , but it doesnt mean it will be all safe and fine . And it ABSOLUTELY does NOT mean we should ONLY worry about the short lived isotopes because theya re more harmfull ,, Absolutely NOT !!!

///And just like the 'steam' from your mouth on a cold day, the 'steam' seen at Fukushima on cold days is just water.//

That s not exactly true is it ?. You dont get JUST STEAM when you pour water on a corium ,, that s just false information ,,you get a highly raidoactive concoqtion of all kinds of isotopes in it as well . You shouldnt inhale it ;)

The smoke in those explosions was not just some smoke ,, and the steam coming from those coriums is not just steam ,, they are highly radioactive substances ,, . You are misinforming again .

Fukushima is leaking lots of radiation into the air , it is not talked about a lot but it still does . Infact every Nuclear plant in the world is leaking into its environment all the time . SOmetimes in huge amopunts . There is NO leak free nuke plant on the planet ,, thats just impossible ,, some isotpes are just not possible to contain . Besides they havent built those stacks by nuke plants for nothing . You dont think they have been pumping only water vapour through them i hope .

But before we get off topic here ,, i just want to say that i hope that icewall works ,i really do ,, and i hope they can find a way to entomb those plants ,,to seal them shut ,, cause anything other than that seems to be a loong road with lots of radiation pouring into the environment for many years to come , and it will have its impact on japan , on the ocean and countries around it .

I think its time for me to move to another discussion ,, maybe we can continue further there ,,

Bye for now Peace.

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thus making that "" entombing "" plan becomes even more plausible doesnt it ?

Why do you keep harping on this? I have not made any comment either way about 'entombing', so why do you keep harrassing me about it?

its weird cause you seem to know a lot about nuclear energy but seem to cherry pick only the information that you like and leave out the rest , hmmm ,,

It is wierd that you seem to know little about nuclear energy, beyond what you read on Wikipedia and apparently lots of FUD websites. Yet you still cherry pick only the information that you (rightly or wrongly) believes supports your uniformed opinions and bias.

You forgot the TIME factor ????

I did not forget ANYTHING!!!!! (Gee using excessive punctuation isn't as fun as you make it seem)

but it doesnt mean it will be all safe and fine

And I never said it would making it all safe and fine.

And it ABSOLUTELY does NOT mean we should ONLY worry about the short lived isotopes because theya re more harmfull ,, Absolutely NOT !!!

And I ABSOLUTELY did NOT say we should only worry about the short lived isotopes!!!

That s not exactly true is it ?.

Well yes it is exactly true. The 'steam' is rainwater that gets heated by contact with the reactor vessel reducing its vapor pressure causing it to vaporize.

Fukushima is leaking lots of radiation into the air , it is not talked about a lot but it still does .

No it is not. It stopped doing so years ago, as plainly shown by the results of air sampling from around the plant.

some isotpes are just not possible to contain

Really? Could you identify some of these isotopes?

Besides they havent built those stacks by nuke plants for nothing

Of course they didn't build them for nothing. They are cooling towers. Water is spayed in at the top and removes heat from pipes that contain the water used to condense the steam from the plants turbines. Both the water being spayed and the water in the pipes are not radioactive and don't come in contact with the reactor or core.

You do know that many nuclear plants don't have 'those stacks' don't you?

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Mike i think you need to relax a bit ,, i am not trying to harras you or anyone ,, i am just trying to inform you ,, so you can see that the truth about nuclear power is not exactly what they tell us it is . Everybody 'Believes"in some myths and lies about nuclear piower cause we have been fed all kinds of pronuke po=ropaganda for years from the main stream media . Nuclear power is not only about energy production ,, unit 3 had MOX fuel in it ,, many nuclear plants are facil;ities for research and development of nuclear missles ,, weapons ,, there is a lot people are not told ,, and just for saying its a national security issue makes most information secret . Most of us just get bits and pieces of SOME truth ,, and we get totally wrong impressions about the safety ,, the costs ,, the environmental impact of nuclear power and many aspects concerning it

I also need to tell you , and anyone reading my messages ,, when i use CAPITAL LETTERS ,, it does not mean i am angry or shouting or trying to harras anyone ,, i used capital letters in an old fashioned way ,, just to emphasize the important part of the sentence ,, thats pre-chat era usage ,, and does not mean i am shouting ,, i appologize if i gave you the impression that i am . Now back to our discussion ,

//Why do you keep harping on this? ///

Because thats how the discussion started about long lived vs short lived isotopes ,, meaning entombing of the site for a few decades does not cause much change to the long lived isotopes ,, meaning mostly the short lived isotopes are a concern for making thise plan ,, the whole discusion started with it ,, you may not started it ,, i did ,, does that matter ?

/// Yet you still cherry pick only the information that you (rightly or wrongly) believes supports your uniformed opinions and bias.///

I am not cherry picking anything and every statement i make , i try to explain several times ,, with exmaples etc ,, unlike you ,, who do not say much more than just saying that i am wrong . explain if i said anything wrong ,, why how ?? If you dont agree with anything i write make your point ,, make your discussion ,,and NO just saying you are wrong is not a discussion ,, you need to give some explanarion for the stuff you mention . You dont agree with what i wrote , why , how come ? Is there something you know that i dont ? Maybe i am misinformed about something and i need to learn it from you , so dont just say i am wrong ,, explain why ,, guve some examples . Thanks .

/// And I ABSOLUTELY did NOT say we should only worry about the short lived isotopes!!!////

No you do not say it directly bu with sentences like these : I am quoting from your previous comments ;///For example 1 kg of Cs-134 is over 3.5 Billion times as radioactive as 1 kg of U-238./// You are IMPLYING that Cs is much more important than Uranium ,, much more hazardous or something we should worry about while uranium is not . This is cherry picking ,, this is misinforming and it has only one goal ,, to down play the severity of the fukushima accident ,,Uranium is actually a huge environmental pollutant ,( google fallujah and congenital malformations , just the photos say enough ) and people reading your comments may think otherwise , that it s a mild radioactive substance so we dont have to worry about it , which is totally misinforming ,, and i guess you have noticed by now that i am really allergic to misinforming :)

///Really? Could you identify some of these isotopes?///

Tritium , period . Google Tritium leakage from nuclear plants .

///No it is not. It stopped doing so years ago, as plainly shown by the results of air sampling from around the plant.///

I suspected this answer exactly thus my sentence in the previous comment ''.( and i dont wish to get into a discussion of if TEPCO is doing good measurements etc etc , cause i stopped listening to those lies long time ago ) '''you can RE-Read it two comments above. There are 3 coria underground somewhere in the soil , directly in conatc with an underground river which keeps cooking and steaming and we need to be very naive to believe all that steam is not leaking from somewhere on that site and that the ground (just soil and rocks ) somehow just manages to seal it tight . I am sorry i cant believe that .

///Of course they didn't build them for nothing. They are cooling towers. Water ,,, ///

You do know all the nuclear plants release radioactivie isotopes into the environment dont you ?

There are two ways nuclear power plants release radioactivity into the environmenmt ,:

1:,some realease it in the form of gasses through the stacks high into the atmosphere ( thats why they are built so high ) so that higher they are the further the radioactivity will get carried with the wind ,, thus keeping the site safe ,,, well those isotopes released into high into the airwill not stay there forever ofcourse ,, they will be carried away for kilometers and land on some poor farmers land ,, but who cares ,, as long as we can claim the measurements on the nuclear plant are low everyone is happy :)

2; Many release it into some body of water ,, ever wondered why those nuke plants are mostly built by some lake or a river ?? ;) (thats a wink btw ) and no its not for using the water for cooilng ,, :) Just google sellafield pollution ,, or search for radioactvie pollution in US rivers ,, you may be amazed .

We really need to stop this discussion ,, i am not going to reply anymore ,, but i will be commenting on other subjects on this site . Maybe we continue there Peace .

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That ends discussion on this thread.

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