Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which operates the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is still having trouble with an ice wall that was designed to stem the flow of radioactive water seeping from the crippled reactors.
TEPCO said this week that it has extended the termination date for the project, TV Asahi reported Tuesday.
The original plan was to collect large amounts of radioactive particulate contaminated water and funnel it into trenches, freeze it, and then transport it to safe disposal sites elsewhere. However, TEPCO said workers have been adding more and more ice and ice water to the tunnel, but have yet to achieve a complete freeze to allow for safe transportation.
Although workers will begin once again pouring chemicals and other materials into the trenches in hopes of lowering the temperature enough to achieve a full freeze, experts are not expecting any results for at least another two or more months.
Apparently a small stream of water has kept the ice wall from freezing properly. TEPCO said it has not been able to get temperatures down to below 15 degrees. It needs to be at 5 degrees, the ideal temperature to form the barrier.
TEPCO is currently dropping about 10 tons of ice and one ton of dry ice per day into the trenches surrounding the reactors. If temperatures drop enough and the ice wall starts forming, the plan is to reduce the daily ice dump to about four or five tons and install an additional four pipes to bring the total up to 23 pipes pumping coolant.© Japan Today