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