“This is not an issue we can let Tepco take complete responsibility of,” Mr. Abe told a group of Cabinet ministers gathered to discuss the plant. “We must deal with this at the national level.” Though Mr. Abe did not specify what his government would do, local news reports quoted unidentified officials in the trade ministry, which has promoted the use of nuclear power, as saying that Tokyo would most likely help pay for a $400 million wall of ice to surround the damaged reactor buildings. The plan calls for freezing the soil around the buildings to shut off the flow of contamination into nearby groundwater, and thus end the leaks into the sea. Doing this would require an ice wall nearly a mile in length that would reach almost 100 feet, or 30 meters, into the ground. Officials said that an ice wall of such a scale had never been attempted before, making it unlikely that Tepco could pull off the feat alone.
This is an extraordinary project. They plan to make a glacier by the sea to prevent the water from flowing into the sea. This will take a tremendous amount of energy, to create this much cooling. Maybe they will be able to find a spare nuclear reactor to provide the energy. Here in New England we have learned about ice dams. During the winter, if ice forms on the roof, the water will rise higher up the roof and cause leaks. If the land is frozen, the water will rise.
Last week, Tepco said water in one such conduit near the No. 2 reactor contained 1.6 billion becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium 137, far above the safe level of 90 becquerels per liter. Tepco estimates that about 50 billion becquerels of tritium are currently flowing into the sea every day, or almost exactly the same amount that regulators would allow a normally functioning plant to emit daily, along with smaller amounts of strontium and cesium. That is far less than the amount of radioactive material that spilled into the ocean in the April 2011 leak, but experts note that the current contamination is continuing and that no one knows how or when it will end.
It seems that Prime Minister Abe is committed to nuclear industry, despite all of the warning signs. What will it take to end this madness?
- Tons of tainted water leaking into ocean from Fukushima (cbsnews.com)
- Japan’s Abe Vows Government Will Help Tepco Stem Fukushima Leaks (bloomberg.com)
- Fukushima Drainage Has 20,000 Tons Of Water With Radioactive Substance – TEPCO (secretsofthefed.com)
- Japan PM to call for stronger response to Fukushima water crisis: Nikkei (reuters.com)