Reactors, Waste Management & Decommissioning

TEPCO faces ice wall issue at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it was having trouble with the beginning stages of an ice wall being built under some of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

According to NDTV, TEPCO said it has begun digging the trenches for a network of pipes under the plant in which it will pass refrigerant. The refrigerant will freeze the soil to form a barrier intended to keep clean groundwater from mixing with the contaminated water leaking from the reactors into the nearby sea, the article said.

TEPCO said in the article that pipes it sank earlier for a smaller, inner ice wall was already proving difficult because workers are unable to bring the temperature low enough to freeze the water.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the construction of the ice wall in May.  The ice wall is designed to be 1 mile long and surround units 1 through 4.

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