Cluster Fukushima: “Ice Wall” Cannot Contain Radioactive Water Onslaught

History Shows Again And Again How Nature Points Out the Folly of Man

Fukushima Ice Wall300 tons of radioactive water pour into the Pacific every day as TEPCO initiates a new type of cluster fukushima

The US nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 left an indelible radioactive mark on Japan’s psyche, a combination of fascination and dread that first manifested itself in the 1954 movie classic Godzilla. One of the key characteristics of the monster from the deep was that he was a product of nuclear testing and had radioactive breath. Still, no one expected Japan to nuke itself, which was the effective result of building the massive 11 reactor nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, right on top of a major fault and in an area prone to tsunamis. So when the 9.0 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami hit on 11 March 2011, three of the reactors melted down in the next few days.

You could call it an accident, but it was arrogance that led the TEPCO engineers to build the complex in spite of the warnings. Well over 50,000 former residents of Fukushima Prefecture have been displaced and it is not clear when or even if they will return.

Official communications regarding this world class disaster have been dicey from the get go. After the radioactive fallout had settled, TEPCO experienced a new problem on a massive scale: groundwater running through the plant was becoming contaminated far faster than TEPCO could build storage tanks to hold it. Then after while the storage tanks started to leak (just like at the Hanford facility in Washington state.  We covered that problem last year.

Some water is now stored in a giant tank farm, but more is being routed into the ocean. Local fishermen have been assured the water is not that radioactive. Meanwhile, the latest plan to prevent the groundwater from flowing through the disabled plant involves constructing an “ice wall” that will freeze the soil around the plant. Those who have become skeptical of TEPCO’s competence found the solution to be outlandish, and indeed it almost sounds as if it were hatched in the Godzilla movie studio. But while science does not have to be that rigorous in movies, the laws of physics continue to apply in the real world. As of this week, the ice wall is not working, due to the inability of the engineers to get the ground to freeze. According to TEPCO’s official statement, that is due to an inability to get the temperature low enough. The statement from their website reads: “The difficulties encountered in freezing the contaminated water does not in any way represent a “setback” in development of the “ice wall,” for which construction is proceeding as planned.”

Oh. OK. That makes sense.

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