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Tepco Gets Go-Ahead For ‘Ice Wall’ At Fukushima-Daiichi via NucNet

26 May (NucNet): Japan’s nuclear regulator today approved a plan to install an impervious underground “ice wall” in the grounds of the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station to try to slow the build-up of radioactive water, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved plans by station owner and operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to construct an underground ice wall at the station starting in June, Jaif said.

The wall will be built by drilling holes and inserting freezer pipes designed to freeze soil and prevent the flow of groundwater through the soil. Tepco will circulate a special refrigerant through pipes in the soil to create the 1.5-kilometre (0.9-mile) frozen wall that will stem the inflow of groundwater.

Jaif said Tepco had already begun testing the technology for the wall, which is intended to block groundwater from nearby hillsides that has been flowing under the station and mixing with polluted water used to cool reactors that went into meltdown after an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

In another effort to deal with contaminated water onsite, Tepco last week began discharging into the Pacific Ocean around 560 tonnes of groundwater collected at Fukushima-Daiichi after the water passed stringent safety tests.

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Related article: 汚染水:凍土遮水壁 6月中にも建設着手 15年度完成へ via 毎日新聞

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