by Daniel Barker, Natural News:
The Japanese government has invested 35 billion yen – roughly $320 million – in the construction of a massive underground “ice wall” at the Fukushima power plant, in a desperate effort to prevent groundwater from seeping into its damaged reactors.
More than five years after the Fukushima incident occurred – an accident caused by an earthquake and resultant 45-foot tsunami that triggered a triple-meltdown at the plant – the government is still desperately trying to find a solution to an ongoing water contamination crisis at the ruined facility.
The three damaged Fukushima reactors contain highly radioactive uranium fuel rods that have continued to contaminate groundwater flooding into the site (at the rate of nearly 40,000 gallons per day) through the highly porous rock and soil bed upon which the plant was built.
The groundwater flow has also prevented the recovery of the uranium fuel from the reactor cores, which may have melted through the steel floors that supported them. In fact, no one knows exactly where the fuel now is. To date, five search robots sent into the reactors have been lost due to high levels of radiation and debris blocking their path.
The underground ice wall, officially named “The Land-Side Impermeable Wall,” consists of a nearly mile-long, 100-foot deep barrier of “man-made permafrost,” that – in theory – should block the flow of groundwater into the reactors, while also preventing contaminated water from seeping into the Pacific Ocean.
But the ambitious and complex plan has been met with skepticism by many experts.
Recent typhoons have already melted parts of the ‘impermeable’ ice wall
Some believe that the government’s desperate “Hail Mary play” will prove to be an expensive and ineffective stopgap measure, and already – just weeks after the ice wall was more or less completed and activated – typhoons have apparently caused parts of the wall to fail.
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