The Fukushima Ice WallKyle Maxey
posted on August 16, 2013 |
Although the nuclear melt-down at Fukushima occurred more than two years ago, troubling news is still leaking out of the site.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has admitted that 300 and 600 tons of water that cools the reactors is draining into the Pacific Ocean every day.
In a last ditch plan to contain this toxic overflow, TEPCO has decided to create a 1.4-km (1 mile) long barrier of frozen soil around the buildings that house reactor 1 through 4. Kajima Corporation engineers say they will sink pipes around the proposed area and fill them with constantly cycling coolant. They forecast the project will cost between $300-$410 million.
While the idea of creating an underground ice wall containment system seems like it would work in theory, the project isn’t without its skeptics. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed his concerns stating, “There is no precedent in the world to create a water-shielding wall with frozen soil on such a large scale (as planned now at the Fukushima complex). To build that, I think the state has to move a step further to support its realization,”
Regardless of how the effort is funded, the project won’t be a quick fix. Estimates for the completion time of the TEPCO ice wall range anywhere from one to two years. During that time massive quantities of contaminated water will continue to pour into the fisheries surrounding Fukushima.
Learn More about the Fukushima Disaster:
Images and Video Courtesy of … & AFP