Work begins on underground ice wall around Fukushima plant


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As crazy as this idea is, I really hope this stops or at least slows down amount of radiation leaking into the environment.

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Another system that will run into fault, issues and periodic failure. Use a tried and tested technology and not one that, funnily enough, will need vast amounts of... electricity.

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Which will be higher?

A) The flow of radioactive water AROUND this idiotic ice wall

B) The flow of tax dollars into TEPCO's pockets

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And who will man the wall? Men of the Night's Watch, that's who.

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The one saving grace about this is, even if there's a power outage for an extended period of time, the wall will remain frozen for up to 2 years.

Fingers crossed this does the job...

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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. The company building it is Kajima Corp. so a nice little earner for them.

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.

Some officials of the NRA have criticised the project which wasn't money related? Dale Klein, who chairs TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee has suggested the project needs risk assessment. Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said the hydrological impact of creating a frozen wall in the area was unclear.

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.

TEPCO have discovered an outside area near the reactor 1&2 stack where the radiation is 25 SIEVERTS per hour, which would kill a person in about 20 minutes. Probably being caused by melted nuclear fuel in the vent pipe but no one can go and take a look.

TEPCO is pouring water into the damaged reactors 1-3 but due to cracks in the containment vessels and suppression chambers, the cooling water leaks out and into the reactor basements which is further increased by the groundwater getting in.

TEPCO are hoping that the ice wall will reduce or even stop the ground water reaching the reactor basements but it won't stop the leaking cooling water.

Recently, TEPCO have started using an American made robot about the size of a small fridge with a 15 metre arm. Its being used to try and locate the cracks in the containment vessels and suppression chambers, and also the Main Steam Isolation Valve (MSIV) in the No3 reactor which is leaking a large volume of cooling water, it was probably damaged by the 3/11 disasters but TEPCO needs to ask:-

-How did the expansion joint get damaged? -Was it by the earthquake? -Was it by pressure that exceeded the spec? -Was it by high heat that exceeded the spec? -If it was high pressure, what caused the high pressure? -If it was high heat, what caused the high heat? What are the implications for other nuclear power plants in Japan (and the world) that use this type of joints for many critical safety components in the plants?

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My guess is that they have got the budget, and in Japan once that is in the bag you can never go backwards. Granted no-one knows if this will work or not, or even what the results will be, but the idea is novel, and it will be interesting for everyone to see what happens.

Candidates for Tepco's new motto:

.1. "Build it and see"

.2. "If you build it, what will come?"


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Actually, the ice wall is being built at the insistence of PM Abe who promised it last year and the building company Kajima is being paid directly from the gov't, so TEPCO isn't in the finance loop?

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Still under control PM Abe? It never was...

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A few corrections ;

freezing the soil under broken reactors to slow the build-up of radioactive water, officials said.///

That s not correct , the icewall will freeze the soil AROUND the reactors ,, not UNDERNEATH them . Everything ( the coriums ,, the water pollution by the puimps etc ) will remain the same .

///sly been used to build tunnels near watercourses/// This has been used in the past to build tunnels wher there is unstable soil ,, where there has been risk of collapse ,, but it never head to be this large and never had to be leak proof like it would be by fukushima ,, it has only been used to freeze the top part of a tunnel while being built so they could strengthen it ,, for a short while ,, just a structural support .

wakawaka225 Whether it works or not ,, what other option are there ? no expert is coming with another idea it seems ,, its all in the hands of TEPCO ,, and we know their reputation .

YongYang Nobody is coming with another technology ,, another solution ,, its been three years and everything is almost the same as day one ,, all the experts in all the countries are quite ,,somehow ,,, It will require lots of electricty ,, like E ,, as in T '' E'' PCO ,, business is booming ;)

Zichi ; ///TEPCO have discovered an outside area near the reactor 1&2 stack where the radiation is 25 SIEVERTS per hour, which would kill a person in about 20 minutes. Probably being caused by melted nuclear fuel in the vent pipe but no one can go and take a look.///

Well said no one can even go and have look cause the radiation is so high , but everyone is believing that people will be working ON those units 1 2 and 3 , with CORIUMS in them and they will remove the fuel rods for years ... lol ,, what a joke ,, how do you make people work at a location for years while nobody can even take a peek at a tiny location because otherwise they would die,??,, lies they are selling is over the top ,,

///TEPCO are hoping that the ice wall will reduce or even stop the ground water reaching the reactor basements but it won't stop the leaking cooling water.///

That s exactly what i am trying to say at the beginning of this sentence ,, the wall will freeeze AROUND the reactors ,, not UNDER !!! all the water they pump in will still get polluted and leak and they will keep producing toxic water and will keep needing more tanks ( although in lerss amount s cause the ground water will not be adding extra amounts to that ) .

I think people shouldnt be mislead to believe that this project will solve the pollution issue 100% ,, that s the impression thats being created now and that s is far from the truth . Some facts 1= fukushima will keep polluting , with or without the icewall . 2= They cant keep building tank farms forever so all that p[olluted water will have to go somewhere and thats down the hill into the ocean . 3= Nobody can remove any fuel from units 1 2 and 3 cause radiation will kill anyone trying to work on them ,, never mind building the cranes and all that to remove them ,, 4= The longer it takes , the higher the risk of another big earth quake hitting the region , and with that all that fuel in all those fuel pools will burn in open air ,, which will make the situation much worse. Its not if but when it will happen , cause everything they say about removing fuel rods from those units are only lies ,, people have to realise that .

I am not against the icewall ,, if anyone has any better idea they should come out with that or shut up[ ... buti am against the propaganda it is being used , to make claims as if it is THE SOLUTION for fukushima ,, it IS NOT ,,it just decreases , some amount of radiation , into the water only ( not air ) and IF it works ,, thats what it is ,, not the golden solution they claim it to be .

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We started construction of the frozen earth wall this afternoon,” a TEPCO official told a news conference in Tokyo.

How much water have they encountered while digging the trench to lay down the piping??/

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Seems the mass in Japan are following the "three wise monkey"... and this project is to make it easier to follow; unfortunately the problem is real and won't just go away.

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zichiJun. 02, 2014 - 04:15PM JST

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.

In April and May of 2013, an expert panel reviewed proposals for ground water problems. The method included making concrete wall, steel wall, clay wall, chemical injection and ice wall.

The expert pannel chose ice wall as safest and most disaster proof.

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An expert panel also got a pleb to drink ground water from the site on camera...wonder how he is doing? Expert Government panels are only good for making me want to slander.

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Oh you mean like this expert panel ? ///Gov't to replace anti-nuclear members on industry regulator///

As i said , if it wasnt about such a terrible catastrophy , this could be a very funny joke , and i would be loughing ,, but i am not laughing now .

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The commissioners on the NRA have a term of office and while the gov't can select new ones they must also be elected by the Diet.

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Zichi I am just quoting what japantoday has published ,, here is the link again :) ,,, its here on this site .

Thunderbird True that ,, but also many other people here want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend all is fine , nothing to see here , move on :) If we could keep our common sense and stop belieivng everything regurgidated at us by the main stream media we wouldnt have to deal with these kinds of disasters now .

Have a little faith , you say ??? In what/ whom ? TEPCO ? whoohahahahahaaaaa lol ,, best joke ever :)) A company that has been synonymous with the word FAILL !!! :))

But hey ,, dont takle my word for it ,, just give them a few weeks ,, i am sure they will come with another faill ,,, something in the range of ,, " the actuall levels of radiation in such and such was much higher than it was estimated before "" ,,, but we all got soo used to it that its the new normal .

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Well johndpugh like you have stated numerous times if you only read what's published by JT, then you ain't going to get far, so further reading is always recommended.

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Absolutely ,, Totally agreed ,, i gave that example just because its so striking that even here on the same site there is mention of the kinds of manipulation going on in politics , and they are asking why we have lost the faith in them LOL :) ,, believe me japantoday is not my only source of information ,, infact most of the time i have been critising them for there censorship of comments and having a pronuke bias :) , but i have to admit , i have the impression that they ( japantoday ) are getting more and more tolerant and letting more and more people speak out lately,, which , under these circumstances , is a positive sign ,, i mean , while we criticizse the media ( which we should ) , we should also give them a thumbsplus when they do something right ,, :) So thanks japan today for letting everyone speak out , keep up the good work .

Back to the subject of further reading ,, thank god we got internet ( at least for now ) so we dont have to depend on just one source . Ofcourse the big question is how long will that last . Sometimes it feels like free information exchange on the net is a luxury we seem to enjoy for now but will not last for long ,, i hope i am wrong though .

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Yakuza affiliated subcontractors will be rubbing their hands together with glee.

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Difficult to formulate my question into words, but one of my concerns is about the furring effect, somewhat similar to what people find in their freezer at home.

As more moisture is frozen, the machine struggles to keep the temperature down and becomes less efficient and more expensive to run. Would the ice wall tend to freeze more and more of the subterranean water as it comes into contact with the wall, reaching a point where the warming effect of the fresh water neutralizes the freezing effect of the vertical ice popsicle/lolly wall? Is a state of balance between the two possible, allowing fresh water to run around the outside of the ice, or will there be a slushy area in the interface?

Would any JT reader have the specialized knowledge to answer this?

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nadakandamamda ( i wrote it correctly this time :) There is this forum called enenews dot com ,, i have seen a lot of knowledgable people there , maybe they can give better answers to these kinds of tehcnical questions . I personally think that it wouldnbt be much of a problem ,, in the core there would allways be enough hard ice-block ( wall ) to serves as a shield , and i would guess the amount of water coming in contact with the icewall would influence the thickness of the wall ,, some places it would be thicker than others but as long as they can keep a certain thickness totally frozen all the time it doesnt matter what will happen in the sorrounding where the temperature reaches the balance between cooling of the iocewall and warming of underground water . In other words there should be enough cooling to keep the inner core of the icewall frozen at a certain thickness at all times ,, and as long as it forms a continuous wall it should do its job . What happens in regions further away from the core wouldnt have much influence on it , and i think they have tested it for that , if it would leak etc . In my opinion main problems with the icewall are , that it would cost so much to build and maintain and it would still solve only a part of the problem . It is not THE solution , to radioactive pollution in fukushima but i am guessing ( hoping ) it would decrease the amount of leakgae into underground water ( which is a huge amount at the moment ,, daily hundreds of tons are leaking into the underground waters and into the ocean ) . Even so , whatever the amount , icewall should DECREASE it and thats a good thing but i am totally disappointed that all these nuclear experts and scientists cant come up with better solutions ,, Another problem is , nobody knows what will happen once the icewall starts working ,, how will that effect the site / buildings ,, in the best case the buikldings may sink 16 mm ,, and in the worse case ,, well lets say it can get much worse than it is now ,, so its an experiment ,, but why am i complaining ,, the whole nuclear industry has been / is a huge experiment on life on this planet ,, lets see how much radioactive abuse our genome can take ,, lets see where the tipping point is. I just hope we are not at the tipping point yet .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the ice wall will take enough power that would feed 13,000 homes to keep it working.

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I just dont trust a man made machine to run so long without breaking down ,, whatever we build seem to break down or disintegrate ,, sooner or later .

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actually old chap, all machines are man-made since we haven't quite reached the point in technology that machines can reproduce themselves, and unless you're sitting on some isolated island, which I guess you ain't since you are frequently on the internet, then your entire life 24/7 relies on machines from power generation, transport systems, hospitals...

What are you a luddite?

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zichi Well lets say i would prefer a simpler solution as they did in chernobyl or something , not saying entombing it would solve anything by fukushima , but something similar to that ,, in that simple form , not requiring all these machines , you know , the more complex the machine the higher the risk of something going wrong , and units 1 2 and 3 are perfect examples of that arent they ? I would be happier to see something to seal it , enclose it somehow , stop the pollution and leakage and walk away from it for a few decades . ( i think ARnie Gundersen had suggetsed something like that )

We rely on machines in our everyday lives , thats true , even now while using internet , chatting on my pc ,, but relying 3 nuclear units in meltdown , on a machine is a bit riskier than that , dont you think ? . I mean if my pc would break ,, well i might not be able to type this message in ,, but if that icewall doesnt work ,, or breaks down it can be a big mess .

I think our over confidence of thinking we could build fail proof nuclear reactors has brought us here ,, and still fueling the nuclear debate to this day ,, i think we need to be a bit more modest and realize that we cant build fail proof anything / machines or factories or what so ever. Every thing we build will fail sooner or later , but if the stakes are so high as in the case of a nuclear reactor , i prefer not to rely on these complex systems . Simpler the solution the more reliable it is .

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Considering how many leaks they've had from the backup cooling system, I give this project about a year of operation before the refrigerant all leaks deep underground.

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Following the 3/11 disasters, the safety inspections at the Fukushima atomic plants were the first to flee from those sites.

The safety inspectors were under the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), the predecessor of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), and they were supposed to remain on site to be able to give a factual and solid assessment of what needed to be done to deal with the accident and the multiple reactor meltdowns.

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