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The final phase of creating an ice wall at Fukushima-1 NPP

The final phase of creating an ice wall at Fukushima-1 NPP

Author: and

Photo: spectrum.ieee.org

Date : Aug 22, 2017 04:13 PM

The ice barrier will prevent mixing of groundwater with radioactive substances

On 22 August 2017 experts from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) began the final phase of creating an underground ice wall around the Fukushima-1 NPP, Newsonjapan.com reports. The 1.5-kilometer ice barrier will prevent underground water from mixing with radioactive liquid. The groundwater inflow falling daily under the emergency station will simply be blocked by a “tape” of frozen soil. It will minimize the risk of contamination of the environment and the world’s oceans.

These works began in 2014. Pipes with liquid frozen at minus 30° С  are buried around the buildings in 30 meters deep mines. Pumping through the piping system, the liquid freezes the soil creating a watertight ice barrier and isolating the emergency reactors.

Experts, however, have left the seven-meter section unfrozen, fearing the sudden fall in groundwater levels around the buildings. But now the Nuclear Regulation Authority has confirmed that all safety measures are observed, approving the freezing of the last section.

The ice «wall» will be switched in stages, although most of it with refrigerants is activated immediately. About $285 million was allocated for the work on freezing the soil around the nuclear power plant.

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