Anonymous Official: Part of ground to sink beneath Fukushima reactors from ice wall being built — Gov’t: Biggest fear is ground sinkage and buildings being destabilized — Tepco: It will sink up to 16mm, but should be ok — Scientist: “People have lost confidence in Tepco” (AUDIO)

Published: May 27th, 2014 at 10:35 am ET
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Kyodo, May 27, 2014: The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to allow […] building an underground ice wall […] despite safety concerns […] The NRA has been wary that building the ice wall could cause the ground to sink around the reactor and adjacent turbine buildings […] the agency accepted Tepco’s explanation that any sinking would not be significant enough to put safety at risk. A Tepco official told NRA members and experts that the ground may sink up to 16 mm in some spots, but that the utility believes it won’t pose a problem to the stability of the ground. “I think we have been able to confirm today the scale of ground sinking, which is what we have most feared as side effects of building the wall,” NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said after hearing Tepco’s explanation […] he noted that other issues concerning the project must still be discussed, including ways to accurately measure the level of radioactive water accumulating inside the reactor buildings. […]

NHK, May 26, 2014: [NRA] reviewed the project at a meeting in Tokyo on Monday. Officials from TEPCO said their estimates show the ground around the Number 1 to Number 4 reactors would sink as much as 16 millimeters after the underground walls are built. […] tunnels will be dug on the mountain side of the plant’s buildings […] The NRA will continue to examine plans to construct similar frozen soil walls on the seaside of the facility. It will also consider ways to prevent wastewater in the reactor buildings from seeping into the environment.

AFP, May 26, 2014: “We had some concerns, including the possibility that part of the ground could sink,” one official said on condition of anonymity. “But there were no major objections to the project during the meeting, and we concluded that TEPCO can go ahead with at least part of the project as proposed after going through further necessary procedures.” However, TEPCO may have to review other parts of the project amid fears it might affect existing structures at the plant such as underground drains, he added.

ABC Radio (AU), May 22, 2014 — Ken Buesseler, Sr. scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: […] if you divert that water flow, what does that do to the stability of the site itself? The soils? Or things happening such as saltwater intrusion? Would you get a flow back of the ocean water, now that you’re not letting all of the fresh water out? Those are pretty key questions […] people have lost confidence in TEPCO […]  I think they really have a challenge rebuilding the public trust in general […] One of their first priorities has to be clean-up of what they’ve already collected, but they’ve been unsuccessful so far at doing that.

See also: [intlink id=”senior-scientist-fukushima-giant-ice-wall-make-worse-radioactive-release-ocean-saltwater-intrusion-side-effects-good-all-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Full ABC broadcast available here

Published: May 27th, 2014 at 10:35 am ET
By

97 comments

Related Posts

  1. TV: Trouble reported with inner ‘ice wall’ at Fukushima; Highly radioactive water underground won’t freeze — Tepco: “We can’t make temperature low enough” after trying for months; Fluctuating water levels beneath Unit 2 blamed — Expert: Ground can liquify around reactors, form sinkholes (VIDEO) June 17, 2014
  2. Expert: It’s getting worse and worse at Fukushima plant; Infrastructure deteriorating, corroding very fast — Tepco Adviser: I doubt ice wall can help much — Scientist warns of radiation ‘pulse’ to ocean (AUDIO) December 5, 2013
  3. Radiation Expert: Fukushima plant “out of control” — Nuclear fuel “is now in the ground… no way they can get at it” — “Will just wash uranium out to sea” — Pollution of Pacific Ocean to continue more or less forever (AUDIO & VIDEO) January 12, 2014
  4. Japan Journalist: Melted nuclear fuel going through Fukushima containment vessels, they don’t even know where the 3 reactor cores went — Senior Scientist: I’m being told Japan may never be able to remove radioactive materials from site; ‘Solution’ may be to leave it in place (AUDIO) June 10, 2014
  5. NBC News: ‘Biblical devastation’ from Fukushima disaster, says former official — TV: “When I was mayor, I knew many people who died from heart attacks… many people in Fukushima died suddenly, even young people… Tepco employees also are dying, but everyone is keeping mum about it” (VIDEO) April 23, 2014

97 comments to Anonymous Official: Part of ground to sink beneath Fukushima reactors from ice wall being built — Gov’t: Biggest fear is ground sinkage and buildings being destabilized — Tepco: It will sink up to 16mm, but should be ok — Scientist: “People have lost confidence in Tepco” (AUDIO)

  • weegokiburi weegokiburi

    Could. Should. Would.
    Tikityboo then.
    Hurrah!!

    • OldFool

      Is there any human being on earth with an infinite knowledge of geology who can say with confidence that any plot of land will subside by no more than a certain amount when ground water flow is stopped? Are they sure it won't be 17 mm, 2 meters, or 10 meters instead? Is this based on some hare-brained computer simulation based on garbage assumptions and inputs? There is no guarantee they can stop the ground water even with an ice wall, and even if they can, the salt water intrusion could possibly release the bound radionuclides from the clay straight into the sea water, if memory is correct.
      TEPCO had One opportunity right after 3/11/11 to dig a zeolite trench to stop the radiation leakage in the groundwater, but they said it was too expensive and they would not do it. Corporate profit was more important. Now it appears to be too late to do anything effective and safe, so now they are truly up the creek without a canoe.
      The poisoning of the Pacific and its loss as a food source will be the absolute penultimate achievement of corporate capitalism.

    • Southbound Southbound

      There are two types of nuclear power plants in this world: Those which have failed, and those which have yet to fail.

      Shut them down. Shut them all down!

    • Nothing changed, except the holes got bigger since last year, so more water is pouring out…

      Fukushima – Growing Alarm, Things Going Downhill Fast; 2 BILLION Bq/Liter Cesium 137 Radioactive Water Going Into Ocean; via @AGreenRoad
      http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2013/07/fukushima-growing-alarm-things-going.html

  • Mad_Scientists Mad_Scientists

    Some Enenewsers have been speculating if radiation weakens plastic, metal, glass

    including first-hand accounts of greenhouse plastic tarps not holding up as well as they used to, etc.

    Is this the reason…

    From the IAEA:

    “Beta radiation can be absorbed completely by sheets of plastic, glass or metal.”

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/RadPeopleEnv/pdf/radiation_low.pdf

    So in addition to sinkage at the Fukushima site, is beta radiation weakening structures there?

  • monster

    One thing is for sure, Tepco has no idea what effects it will have on the ground or the builds. They are grabbing at straws, point blank.

  • Wooster

    I have personally visited residential properties where the foundations have dried out after a single hot summer.

    In some of those properties the cracks in the walls have been large enough to slide a hand into.

    I am tempted to suggest that Fukushima Nuclear Power stration will have been built to a much better specification than the average brick built house, but given what has happened in the last three years I seriously wonder if that is the case.

    Whether the buildings survive is one matter. What is quite another matter is whether the services that supply the buildings will be able to cope with subsidence of 16mm, in particular the pipes that supply the cooling water. I would suggest that in areas where the pipes are already damaged from explosions, 16mm displacement might be enough to completely sever them.

    Let's hope there is a plan B in place in case the frozen wall goes titsup, and perhaps even a plan C and a plan D.

  • DO NOT underestimate the power of the nuclear cartel. they will be quite dangerous as they get closer to their own death…..

    The 2,109 emails counted by Asahi Shimbun revealed that 95.2 percent opposed nuclear power generation, with as few as 33 responses arguing in favor of government energy policy including nuclear power.

    Though shocking in terms of disregard to the public will, the results of the survey are consistent with the determination of the Abe administration to stick to the pro-nuclear policy. Even a recent ruling by the Fukui District Court against a restart of a nuclear reactor currently offline was identified as a “minor setback” to the energy policy draft by the Japanese government.

    http://en.ria.ru/world/20140526/190142816/Japanese-Government-Snubs-Anti-Nuclear-Public-Sentiment.html

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    "may sink up to 16 mm in some spots, but that the utility believes it won’t pose a problem to the stability "

    What they aren't saying, "may sink up to 16 mm in some spots, but that the utility believes it won’t pose a problem to the stability of the ground, the areas that may sink up to 3 meters may cause major instability of the ground leading to buildings falling over"

    • Cisco Cisco

      "TEPCO said their estimates show the ground around the Number 1 to Number 4 reactors would sink as much as 16 millimeters after the underground walls are built."

      16mm equals a little more than 5/8". They're kidding, right! That statement is preposterous. The low levels of radiation exposure-not to be concerned about, is already causing brain damage among those in charge.

  • Gasser Gasser

    I think they need to add some zeros and a decimal point on the 16mm building sinkage estimate figure.

  • certainly there is no argument that meltdown/through likely containing though not limited to: corium, plutonium, strontium, americium, cesium et al. has occurred

    also, certainly, as is scientifically shown, many materials can not withstand the deteriorating effects of radioisotopes –

    so

    the ground and facilities will most likely fall apart, sink, what have you – major entropy issues for Fukushima ensuing. Not much of an argument with this situation.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    All this consideration of the..dangers of the ice wall are done without ..accepting the fact that below the aquifer has undergone changes ..nor the presence of corium at various depths.

    16 mm..where they assume stability..3 meter where they know the area is prone to subsidence.

    Where could that area be?
    Let me guess..

    Japan Diplomat: Ground underneath Fukushima Unit 4 is sinking — More than 30 inches in some areas — Now in danger of collapse (VIDEO
    Aug 3 2012

    http://enenews.com/former-prime-ministers-secretary-ground-fukushima-unit-4-sinking-30-inches-areas-danger-collapse-video

  • tsfw tsfw

    I recall many of you warning that exactly this would occur.

  • SadieDog

    Govt wants to build more "temporary" waste diposal sites around Fukushima …
    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20140527_26.html

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    " I think they really have a challenge rebuilding the public trust in general […] One of their first priorities has to be clean-up of what they’ve already collected, but they’ve been unsuccessful so far at doing that."

    "Challenge rebuilding public trust."
    Why would that even be an option at this stage of the game?

    "Clean up what they have already collected.".

    In case he hasn't gotten the bulletin ..TEPCO is dumping directly into the sea.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Buesseler so willing to describe the difficulties..of a rather last ditch effort..but still wants results?
    HOW SO?

  • Down The River Down The River

    Supposing they do get this ice-machine built, and it works (doubtful)

    Where do they get the power to run it?

    Somewhere I read 12 megawatts

    24/7 for countless centuries

  • GQR2

    This Sea Side Park closed due to high Radiation
    http://fukushimaupdate.com/hitachi-seaside-park-closed-due-to-radiation-fears/

    Radioactive Reality is setting in,making itself known.

    • califnative califnative

      GQR2 – thanks for the news, did you read the comments?

      – Is it because the sunlight has been strong recently? Or is there no relation?
      – I wonder why?
      – Why has it gone up so much? Even though 3 years have passed..

      Their media black out is sure working over there.

    • bo bo

      Wow…
      Some of the translated comments are crazy
      I only follow activists on twitter so not used to this :

      'I really hope it doesn't affect 'Rock in Japan Festival' ( music festival at park )

      I guess this is what the kids these days call 'nosebleed seats'

    • weegokiburi weegokiburi

      GQR2
      Interesting that the readings were taken on the 23rd.
      Hmm?
      Bo funny.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Whatever this liquid will be"

    Ooooh..like "Game of Thrones"

    “Game of Thrones”-like Ice Wall to Be Built at Fukushima
    May 27 2014

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Game-of-Thrones-like-Ice-Wall-to-Be-Built-at-Fukushima-443997.shtml

    What will this liquid be?

  • Ontological Ontological

    I used to love to play in the ditch making ice dams in the early Spring. I was such a good ice beaver. I could dam up the ditch, to make biggest lake, then watch as it all rushed into the drain pipe. Boys playing with toys. If anything could be done, why did they not do it? Oh I know it's the 4+B they have MADE off this farce…Is that Yen or USD?

  • TooExpensiveToMatter

    Knowing TEPCO, they probably just added an extra "m" to the units for the max ground sinking (inadvertently, of course).

    And after the buildings collapse:

    "That was a simple typo, supposed to read '16 m'. We apologize for any inconvenience." — TEPCO

  • dunkilo

    Radiated for 60 years?Its just the world… Drug companies make their profits on the cancer and sickness spread by the peaceful atom?Its just the world… Wars that never end?Its just the world…Children and young adults "dumbed down"?Its just the world…Me, watching ,knowing the outcome?Its just the world Radiation rots everything it touches?its just the world…

  • earthsmith earthsmith

    Sigh the slip n slide project gets approved….abandon site cause they already abandoned life!

  • TooExpensiveToMatter

    "A Tepco official told NRA* members and experts that the ground may sink up to 16 mm in some spots, but that the utility *believes* it won’t pose a problem to the stability of the ground. “I think we have been able to confirm today the scale of ground sinking, which is what we have most feared as side effects of building the wall,” NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said after hearing Tepco’s explanation"

    [TEPCO also *believed* that their initial radiation-release numbers were correct. But hey, what's an order of magnitude (or 2 or 3) when it comes to ionizing radiation, right?]

    This is how major decisions about Fukushima are made? (!)

    What happened to getting a second (or third or even 10th) opinion from an independent scientific and/or engineering body which has actually done an independent analysis to verify the claimed estimate for subsidence?

    *At first read, I thought TEPCO was presenting their ice wall idea to members of the National Rifle Association, which, sad to say, actually makes some sense.

    • Might as well get the National Rifle Association involved, because their expertise may actually help…

      Fire some lead into the ground, it may help slow down the flow.

      Just as good as an ice wall.

      Better try it soon, before bullets run out.

      There is a rumor that people are panicking and there is a run on ice cubes for sale in bags at grocery stores, because people think that the price of ice cubes will shoot up, due to TEPCO building this ice wall underground.

      (sarc)

  • sworldpeas

    "One of their first priorities has to be clean-up of what they’ve already collected, but they’ve been unsuccessful so far at doing that." Ken Buesseler, Sr. scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    wow did Ken just grow a vertebrae or what!?!?! He sounds surprised, ALMOST as if his "dilution is the solution" excuse isn't actually working out the way he said it was. His revisionist lords are going to have a heck of a time spinning this one.

  • w

    IAEA, NRC of US, and NRA of Japan r all NOT RADIONUCLIDE-CAUTION friends. They r a bunch of NUKE-NUMBED-NUTS aimed to promote n increase the operation of NUKE Power Plants with any cost. The Iced wall under Chernobyl is built in a solid ground with the continuation of power supply to ice the wall fairly certain. But under the Diichi plants 1,2 n3 not only the soil is unstable for it was once a part of a river mouth, the "wall" would be of a gigantic size, with no guarantee of continuous supply of power for decades, if not centuries.

  • Nick

    In a sense, much of TEPCO's missing reactor masses are not going to
    adhere to any man-made ice-wall perimeters or depth. Nothing can actually be done of any real value to lessen this disaster.

    What would be far more productive is a discussion about nuclear things in general.

    Until we vastly reduce or mining of uranium, etc. the world will continue to suffer setbacks as new batches of decaying atoms escape containment.

    It should be obvious to us all that TEPCO is playing a shell game.

    Ice wall= pipe dream= batshit crazy.

    No, let's simply let FD-NPP decommission itself.

    Focusing on repairs actually obfuscates how much radiation ALREADY entered our precious biosphere.

    It is the equivalent of fixing your car radio AFTER a head-on collision.

    • Actually, all they have to do to stop the release of the rest of the "inventory" is to lift the coriums, and seperate them.

      Quite simple actually. Technically, it is nothing a few hundred billion USD couldn't do.

  • razzz razzz

    Radiation is bad enough but saltwater corrosion will cause the basements to crumble during the next large quake. Once salt starts reacting with metal (rebar), it is like a cancer and you can't stop it (the corrosion) only remove or replace it.

    The Great Quake ruined the plumbing at Daiichi to the point where the containments couldn't hold water. It was all down hill after that. TEPCO is still hoping to patch the leaks so they can fill the containments with water for shielding if there is any chance for removing the melts. Hope is not a viable plan.

    Kenny all of sudden is beginning to sound worried. After all, it is only like a bunch of bananas floating around in the Pacific. There is no other place to put the bananas.

  • califnative califnative

    I agree razzz why is there no mention of the obvious, the effects of the next earthquake. No doubt it will mangle the pipes and release all the toxic liquids; how will they fix pipes deep in the ground.

    This subject came up yesterday…
    Work on frozen soil walls at Fukushima plant hits glitch
    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201405170031

    But the trial involved walls only 10 meters square, a fraction of the actual size of the massive walls that are due to be constructed.

    Experts have warned that if something goes wrong with the walls, it could critically affect work to handle the contaminated water and decommissioning operations.

    A series of steel pipes that contain a liquid at minus 30 degrees spaced at 1-meter intervals will be placed around the buildings housing the four reactors, as well as the turbine buildings.

    Stretching 1,500 meters, the frozen walls are expected to cut the inflow of groundwater to 130 tons from the current 400 tons a day.

    TEPCO and the government plan to begin the actual freezing of soil in March 2015, with the expectation the walls could last for seven years.

    The government has provided 32 billion yen ($313 million) in funding for the project.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    First sizeable local earthquake ..all bets are off.

  • byron byron

    Ice wall can't work. Keeping ground water out? No, it just comes up from under. Keeping nuclear stuff from leaving out? No, cooling water poured inside of a container eventually saturates and fills the container (the buildings become unstable) then overflows or underflows the bottom of the wall. Even if it's a kilometer deep ice wall, you've still got a container that fills up because water is being added. If you pump cleaner water in the top to cool and then pump dirty water out the bottom, it has to be stored. OK, let's build lots of cheap storage tanks that will leak in a couple of years and store the radioactive water right over there on that hill. Why doe that sound like it has been tried? ..
    ..
    What physical model are they using to say this will work?

    • TooExpensiveToMatter

      What is TEPCO's definition of "work"?

      Do they have one?

      Even if their plan were feasible (which is by no means clear), based on their track record why would anyone expect that TEPCO could carry it out successfully?

      TEPCO is an electrical utility, not a geological/civil engineering company.

      This whole thing has reached the outer limits of absurdity.

      Perhaps there is really little that can be done at this stage, but Japan has some of the best engineers in the world and with so much at stake, that the Japanese people would allow FU business as usual to continue (with TEPCO in charge) is simply incredible.

  • Mad_Scientists Mad_Scientists

    Journalist Gregg Levine always does good analysis on Fukushima:

    "At Fukushima, ice is just another brick in the wall of denial"
    by Gregg Levine May 27, 2014

    http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2014/5/27/at-fukushima-iceisjustanotherbrickinthewallofdenial.html

    • The ice wall is symbolic of their wall of denial.. Not only are they cementing it in place, they are then freezing it solid, so that there will be NO hope left at all..

      A SUPER WALL of denial…

      Nope, no problems here, just COLD shutdown, deep freeze style.

      COLD shutdown and secrecy of ALL information

      Yup, that will work.. just bundle up everyone, it is going to be a cold, dark, 1 million year radioactive winter ahead.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    'tanka'

    "One of the two in the May 19 edition read, “Josensuru kumade no ueni furu kaben/ Mederarezu chiru Namie no sakura” (Flower petals fall on a bamboo rake that is engaged in decontamination/ Cherry blossoms in Namie fall without being loved)."

    Decontamination worker moved by what he saw writes poetry in Fukushima
    May 28 2014

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201405280003

  • zogerke zogerke

    Bo- tanka?

    Steady sweet rhythm
    Heartbeat, breathing muscle-song
    while what we inhale
    potent killer nanogram
    silences our symphony

    Zogerke

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    There was major liquefaction in the area from the earthquake.
    Bulldozing and laying metal plates..is merely cosmetic.
    And in no way takes care of the problem ..to depth.

    Fukushima : liquéfaction de sols autour des réacteurs

    FUKUSHIMA LIQUEFACTION TEPCO PUBLIE UNE PHOTO
    Sept 12 2012

    http://www.wikistrike.com/article-fukushima-liquefaction-de-sols-autour-des-reacteurs-110010450.html

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Do they really think they have the capacity to stop groundwater in these conditions?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Are they crazy?
    Yes ..they are.

    • TooExpensiveToMatter

      Crazy like a fox.

      TEPCO is again profitable (to the tune of billions), thank you very much.

      I suspect that they know the ice wall won't work (just as they surely knew when they started pumping into tanks that they could not continue forever), but as long as they are making a profit, it really doesn't matter, now does it?

      • And why isn't TEPCO paying for this ice wall, if they are making BILLIONS?

        Oh right, taxpayers pay for the losses and risks, and nuclear companies keep all of the profits..

        Paid to fail, paid to fail, paid to fail.

        Win, win, win for nuclear industry.

        Lose, lose, lose for the public.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The Earth is folding
    Flutters does a lover's fan
    Hiding heated shame.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    “People have lost confidence in Tepco”…DUH! I did not need you to tell me this.

  • Lost confidence…

    Lost money….

    Lost homes…..

    Lost homeland….

    Lost traditions….

    Lost generations….

    Lost power…..

    Lost money…..

    Lost lands…..

    Lost forests…….

    Lost fisheries……..

    Lost farms…….

    Lost businesses………

    Lost, lost, lost,

    But you have to pay ANYWAY, even more than before!

    TEPCO is holding the whole world hostage.

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