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TEPCO’s Plan to Freeze Soil at Fukushima Site to Curb Contamination Failing

© AFP 2021 / Toshifumi Kitamura A coast guard vessel (back R) patrols the waters off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture on October 9, 2015.
A coast guard vessel (back R) patrols the waters off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture on October 9, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Tokyo Electric Power Company’s initiative to create a frozen soil barrier around Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to prevent the groundwater from becoming contaminated with radioactive materials has not shown any success, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority's expert panel member said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, TEPCO issued a report on the project’s progress stating that 99 percent of their thermometer readings showed that the wall’s temperatures are at or below the freezing point, proposing to embed in concrete the remaining one percent of the barrier which compromises the success of the project.

"The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing. They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plan," panel member Yoshinori Kitsutaka said on Friday, as quoted by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Men wearing protective suits and masks work in front of welding storage tanks for radioactive water, under construction in the J1 area at the Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (File) - Sputnik International
Disaster Fallout: Fukushima’s Legacy Five Years Later
In 2011, the largest nuclear catastrophe since the Chernobyl disaster took place in Japan, when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit by a 46-foot tsunami, triggered by a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake. Three of the six reactors were damaged beyond repair.

Measurable radiation leaking into the atmosphere, soil and sea began immediately after the tsunami hit.

TESCO began its work on the $344-million project to create the ice barrier in late March, injecting a freezing solution into as many as 1,700 pipes drilled into the ground around the plant.

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