Japan to Build Massive 1.5km Ice Wall in Order to Stop Radiation Leaks from Fukushima Nuclear Plant

by , 05/27/14

Fukushima, fukushima nuclear plant, fukushima radiation, Japan, ice wall, radiation ice wall, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), TEPCO, Nuclear Regulation Authority,

In March, Inhabitat ran a story about how the Japanese government had pledged $470 million towards the construction of a massive ice wall that they hoped would contain the radiation from the Fukushima disaster. Now comes news that the bizarre project has actually received the green light and construction is set to begin immediately.

Fukushima, fukushima nuclear plant, fukushima radiation, Japan, ice wall, radiation ice wall, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), TEPCO, Nuclear Regulation Authority,

If you thought massive ice walls were limited to the likes of Game of Thrones, then you were wrong. While the fantasy series is famed for its epic ice structure, however, Japan’s proposed initiative will take place underground and will see engineers freeze the soil beneath the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in a bid to try to slow the build-up of radioactive water.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority says that plans for the wall’s construction will start in July and will begin with the blocking of groundwater from nearby hillsides. That groundwater has been flowing under the plant and mixing with polluted water to cool reactors that went into meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The water will then be circulated in a special refrigerant in order to create a large 1.5-kilometre (0.9-mile)frozen wall that will stem the inflow of groundwater.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has stated that they will have to review other parts of the project in case it jeopardizes existing structures, such as the underground drains. Scientists have said that while the project could work, something on this scale has never been done before, especially in the proposed length of time.

With the ice wall keeping the radiation from leaking into the local waterways, TEPCO will continue to decommission the Fukushima plant—an operation that could take several decades. The area around the plant remains out of bounds due to the high levels of radiation.

via Gizmodo

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  1. Scott Knudsen June 7, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    This is done all the time in Saskatchewan at the uranium mines to freeze up the intense ground water pressure.

  2. roamer May 29, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Ronnie, I assume it will function like the freon system in air-conditioning systems but set to a level of operation to freeze the ground and perhaps ground water. Several reports I\\\’ve read (can\\\’t speak to level of expertise in them) suggest this is a Hail Mary from Tepco to show they are “doing something” and chances of success are slim. I keep thinking of the time spans involved with radioactive materials vs the shelf life of Tepco. These corporations often declare bankruptcy and punt the problem to the rest of us.
    Why we are still considering nuclear power as viable, even in Japan, is disheartening. Reminds me of getting under our desk in grade school to protect us from atomic attack. Sheesh!

  3. Ronnie Richmond May 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    i’m confused… whats to prevent the ice from melting?

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