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AP Interview: Fukushima Plant's New Ice Wall Not Watertight

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posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 09:24 AM
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Coping with the vast amounts of ground water flowing into the broken Fukushima nuclear plant — which then becomes radiated and seeps back out — has become such a problem that Japan is building a 35 billion yen ($312 million) "ice wall" into the earth around it.

But even if the frozen barrier built with taxpayers' money works as envisioned, it won't completely block all water from reaching the damaged reactors because of gaps in the wall and rainfall, creating as much as 50 tons of contaminated water each day, said Yuichi Okamura, a chief architect of the massive project.

"It's not zero," Okamura said of the amount of water reaching the reactors in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week. He is a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, which operates the facility that melted down after it was hit by a tsunami in 2011, prompting 150,000 people to evacuate.
AP Interview: Fukushima Plant's New Ice Wall Not Watertight


Thank goodness for those risking their lives to work on the ice wall. They are heroes in my book.

It's so easy for us to be critical but I say don't judge a man until you've walked a mile on his ice wall.

It's always good to see TEPCO being honest. "We have come up against many unexpected problems.", I'm sure we'll never know what most of those problems were, but we have to take any candidness we can get.
edit on 28-4-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

So, the ice wall hasn't been constructed yet, they still in the 'planning' stage?

Correct, it won't work. Water flows out the bottom of the biggest ice walls on earth, Glaciers.

Someone tell Tepco publicity department we ain't buying their "new" containment spiel. The stuff is out, containment failed. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. All these measures are stop gap only, delaying actions to the increasing levels of radioactive contamination in the environment.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: intrptr


A man-made ice wall will be far colder than Glacial ice. 20-30 below zero is achievable. Very little water would be lost and even if some is lost, it's far batter than what we face now which is zero trapping of contaminated water.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Its impossible to contain the contamination, once its out. Thats the problem with nuclear power, you see. As long as the primary, secondary and redundant back up systems all work, fine. But this is the unforseen, worst case scenario.

The problem with containing contaminated water is, even on dry land, behind huge cement dams, water still trickles under, around and over (floods over in storms) the best dams we have built. The reason they can't use cement for a wall is its on the beach. The water table depth is right there, the erosion from the ocean and the shifting sediments prohibit a real barrier, so they dream up an ice wall, which is itself made of water… and the water table at sea level makes it impossible to dig deeper. Ever built a sand castle?

I agree, they need to cool the cores and fuel pools, the water for that was collected in the tank farm, (no more room) collects in the basements, leaks through fissures (from the quakes), over flows from the basements during storms, how big a dam is necessary to contain all that for the next (?) number of years? You see the fallacy, now?

Its a publicity announcement designed to imbue a 'feel good' they are doing something to keep a 'lid' on further leaks. The thing is it has been leaking all along since the day they blew and will continue to for the forseeable future.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: intrptr


No argument from me. I hang a little hope that the ice slows it somewhat, which is better than nothing.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Too late. They should have done what they did at Chernobyl early on. Sacrificed lives to clean it up, instead of waiting and waiting…

Edit: Until they go in there and manually remove the cores and stored fuel and move it someplace… dryer.


edit on 28-4-2016 by intrptr because: edit:



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

This might seem weird suggestion, but can they not just pour a powder into the water in containment which turns the water viscous? Like gelatin or something? That would make it far harder for it to leak out, would bind the contaminated water in place, rather than allowing it to leak through the ice?



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: intrptr

This might seem weird suggestion, but can they not just pour a powder into the water in containment which turns the water viscous? Like gelatin or something? That would make it far harder for it to leak out, would bind the contaminated water in place, rather than allowing it to leak through the ice?


Mmm, if they put a gelling mixture down into the cores below the containment that would clog the flow of water over the mass of melted fuel somewhere below the buildings. Blocking that flow would allow the fuel to begin heating up again, something they desperately don't want to happen. They are stuck because they need the water to flow down there and it is flowing out the bottom…

Devil and deep blue sea. Plumes of fresh steam from rekindled fission would be visible above the ground, whereas water leaking into the ocean through pipes, fissures and the ground water table, not so much.

They can only attack the salvageable parts of the site, the fuel pools are easier to keep full of circulating water and easier to remove the fuel from and take it away. The tons of fuel melted below the cores in three of the reactors are not reachable . The levels of radiation are too intense.

I have detailed files. Maybe I'll look back and see how many have been removed due to 'copyright', or user account terminated, sorry about that.
edit on 28-4-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

The only problem with that would be that the heat generated would not then be able to be bled off. The cores need continual cooling and will until "new technologies can be developed" considering we cannot deal with what is there with what we currently know.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

I agree with your thoughts on the dangers / insanity of nuclear power and it ability to create this kind of lasting havok.

Couldn't they just sink a massive cyliner over the whole reactor, cutting right through and well below the water table and fill the entire thing with reinforced concrete?

The cylinder will hold back the water, then the reinforced concrete will effectively seal off the entire facility from the ocean.

Not ideal, but then things never are when a nuke power station goes into havok mode.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: MysterX

This would work for a while and cost billions, if not trillions, to build initially.

Then what happens when the concrete begins to deteriorate as has happened at the sarcophagus covering Chernobyl and needs the be replaced?

Build yet another container to contain the container?

And when that one begins to leak? Build a container to to contain the container that has the original container contained?

And remember, the products at Fukushima will be dangerous for 10s of thousands of years...



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: MysterX


Couldn't they just sink a massive cylinder over the whole reactor, cutting right through and well below the water table and fill the entire thing with reinforced concrete?

Problem with airtightness or sealing it, is the gasses being emitted as a by product of rekindled fission will build and eventually blow the lid off (again), like what happened in the first place. The fissioning fuel produced hydrogen which (trapped in containment) built until it found a spark…

They have contained number one with a 'tent structure that keeps the radioactive contamination from escaping to the air by filtering it. Still doesn't prevent ground seepage. There is no way to dig under the plants to install more 'barrier'. Like digging a deep hole on the beach, water floods in.
They might be able to secure foundations or pour cement casements in any other disaster scenario, where the job isn't continuously bombarded by heavy amounts of ionizing radiation.

Wanna hear my stupid early on idea?

Too late now, but I said bomb the reactor buildings with the heaviest bunker busters we got until all that s*** is scattered around above ground…. then you can clean it up. As is, the explosions already scattered a lot of fuel to the wind and sea and the rest is sitting down there, unapproachable, leaking, emitting…

(Insert wild geiger counter noise)

edit on 28-4-2016 by intrptr because: bb code

edit on 28-4-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: jadedANDcynical

Hi Jaded, glad you're here… expert knowledge base guys, pay heed. There are no dumb questions.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Hmmm... Of course. The cooling...

It is a shame that autonomous robotics have not developed to the point where either robots could be sent to remove the fuel rods and place them in containment, or be at least guided to do so.



posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 06:41 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

That is some of the technology that has yet to be developed in order to deal with the radiation:


Five years after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant went into meltdown, the reactors are still so radioactive that robots sent in to find dangerous fuel have ‘died’.

...

Robots were sent in to take photos to assess the damage, and find and remove the blobs of fuel which each weigh hundreds of tonnes. None of the five sent into the reactors have returned.

‘It is extremely difficult to access the inside of the nuclear plant,’ Naohiro Masuda, head of decommissioning, said in an interview. ‘The biggest obstacle is the radiation

But the technology needed to establish the location of the melted fuel rods in the other three reactors at the plant has not been developed.

Tepco has built robots which can swim underwater and navigate around obstacles in damaged tunnels and piping to get to the melted fuel rods.

It takes two years to develop a robot like this – but as soon as they get close to the reactors, radiation messes up their wiring so they become useless, causing long delays.


source

They can't even get close enough to where they think the cores are to see what shape they're in much less begin the process of removing them.



posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 07:32 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: intrptr

Hmmm... Of course. The cooling...

It is a shame that autonomous robotics have not developed to the point where either robots could be sent to remove the fuel rods and place them in containment, or be at least guided to do so.

They tried robots. Problem there being, the reactor rooms were patterned after the original designs in submarines, many of the walls are bulkheads with doors elevated, sealable hatches, instead of doorways. Some of these bulk head doors were jammed shut by the explosions. The machinery is mostly accessible by ladders (like on ships) and the floor areas are littered with debris from the explosions. Current robots only go so far in that environment. Plus their cameras and electronics get fried by the hi level radiation.

They are removing fuel rods from the pools as they can. That operation in number four is proceeding. Number four suffered less damage than the others, it was shut down for refueling at the time of the quake.



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