An Interesting Approach to a Huge Problem

Passing Through . . . .

How the Fukushima Ice Barrier Will Block Radioactive Groundwater
Japan plans to stop leaking radioactive groundwater at Fukushima with an underground wall of ice. Here’s how it would work.

By Peter Fairley on August 30, 2013

WHY IT MATTERS

Contaminated groundwater remains a huge problem at Fukushima.

Cold storage: A freeze wall created for a construction project by the company SoilFreeze.

Japanese officials desperate to contain an ever-growing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power station are looking to use artificial permafrost to stop radioactive water from leaking. The idea is to build a mile-long wall of frozen earth around Fukushima’s toxic reactor buildings to stem the groundwater contamination; the most experienced specialists in the field say the plan should work.

The Japanese firms involved appear to be taking a go-it-alone approach. Two weeks ago, a top official at Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) signaled that the utility behind the Fukushima disaster…

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