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Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

Japan to build ‘giant ice wall’ to slow Fukushima’s radioactive groundwater

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) plans to build the gigantic ice wall to stall the spread of radioactive material around the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has given the go ahead for construction to commence and while similar techniques have been used in the past, it’s never been undertaken at the same scale as the proposed Fukushima plans.

Speaking to PhysOrg, an anonymous official explained that “We had some concerns, including the possibility that part of the ground could sink. But there were no major objections to the project during the meeting, and we concluded that TEPCO can go ahead with at least part of the project as proposed after going through further necessary procedures.”

In June, then, engineers will begin building a 0.9-mile frozen wall that should stem the flow of radioactive groundwater. Gizmodo explained how it will work before:

The idea is to drive vertical pipes spaced about a meter apart between 20 and 40 meters into the ground and to pump coolant through them. This would effectively create a barrier of permafrost around the affected buildings, keeping the contaminated water in and groundwater out.

The Verge details the project in a Monday article: “The project intends to freeze the ground around four reactors, as well as other related buildings, at Fukushima down to a depth of nearly 100 feet. In total, the frozen wall of earth will stretch for nearly nine-tenths of a mile and is meant to reach temperatures of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius). A series of pipes carrying coolant will be used to freeze the land. Beyond preventing water from escaping the area, the AFP reports that the hope is that it will also prevent water from flowing into the plant from nearby hillsides. Construction is expected to finish in March of 2015 and cost about 32 billion yen ($314 million).”

photo/screenshot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvC4WQrQwTs

Fukushima nuclear power plant exploding, YouTube screenshot

Fukushima nuclear power plant exploding, YouTube screenshot

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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