Fukushima: Japanese Government to Build Ice Wall in Desperate Attempt to Contain Leaks of Contaminated Water

September 3rd, 2013

For a moment, let’s just assume that this will work. I doubt that it will work, but let’s pretend that will.

What happens to all of the frozen slop when the grid goes down during the next disaster and the “ice wall” thaws out?

Have a nice day!

Via: AP:

The Japanese government announced Tuesday it is funding a costly, untested subterranean ice wall in a desperate step to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after repeated failures by the plant’s operator.

Public funding is part of several measures the government adopted Tuesday. Most had already been announced but they are widely seen as a safety appeal before the International Olympic Committee votes on which city will host the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo is a front-runner.

“Instead of leaving this up to TEPCO [Tokyo Electric Power Company], the government will step forward and take charge,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after adopting the outline. “The world is watching if we can properly handle the contaminated water but also the entire decommissioning of the plant.”

The government plans to spend an estimated $470 million US through the end of 2014 on two projects — the ice wall and upgraded water treatment units that is supposed to remove all radioactive elements but tritium — according to energy agency official Tatsuya Shinkawa.

The government is not paying for urgently needed water tanks and other equipment that TEPCO is using to stop leaks.

The ice wall would freeze the ground to a depth of up to 30 metres through a system of thin pipes carrying a coolant as cold as minus -40 C. It would thus block contaminated water from escaping the facility’s immediate surroundings, as well as keep underground water from entering the reactor and turbine buildings, where most contaminated radioactive water has collected.

The project, which TEPCO and the government proposed in May, is set for completion by March 2015.

Related: Fukushima Radiation Levels 18 Times Higher than Previously Admitted

3 Responses to “Fukushima: Japanese Government to Build Ice Wall in Desperate Attempt to Contain Leaks of Contaminated Water”

  1. dale Says:

    After reading the article, I’m convinced that there’s definitely a very slim chance we’ll survive. I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! LET’S DO IT!

  2. erth2karin Says:

    I wonder how much electricity it takes to maintain a temp of -40C over a chunk of land 30 meters deep and who-knows-how wide.
    With the Fukushima plant shut down, where will that power come from in the first place, and what happens when another earthquake comes along and disrupts that power supply &/or the “system of thin pipes”?

    If Dale is willing to extend his excitement to the concept of building another reactor at the site of the failed reactor, to power the maintenance of the icewall, then I’ll be proud to join him in his enthusiastic support.
    SCIENCE!!
    0_o

  3. dale Says:

    Look, what can I say. It’s so god damned surreal I hesitate adding to Kevin’s comments. Even if this could work, how long could it possibly keep working?

    As a kid I grew up watching cornball sci-fi movies on late night TV. One major theme was mutations from radioactive material, and the mutations were invariably giant-things. Never mutations of fungus, bacteria, virus, or anything orders of magnitude more likely to thrive. Talk about risk you can’t possibly measure or comprehend – we’ve entered the twilight zone on this one. But not without inversely proportional levity.

    What is the world’s response? You’d think every war ship on the planet would be in the vicinity supplying/supporting/forcing multiple concurrent efforts. What’s the Plan? Freeze the ground! Wow – that’s incredible. How can anyone possibly refute that apes and humans are closely related. Freeze the fucking ground. Stop it. You’re killing me…

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