November 22, 2014
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant plans to fill in trenches on the coastline in yet another attempt to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into the sea.
Under the plan, approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Nov. 21, Tokyo Electric Power Co. will inject a special cement mixture into the seaside trenches of the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors while pumping up radioactive water accumulating in them.
The special mixture does not absorb water so it can spread more easily along the bottom of the trenches, displacing the tainted water.
The new method will allow radioactive materials to remain in the surrounding soil, but TEPCO decided to employ the technique because it puts high priority on preventing massive amounts of highly contaminated water from leaking into the ocean.
This spring, TEPCO tried to stop the water influx at the trench for the No. 2 reactor by freezing the junction of the turbine building and the trench, but the operation was tough-going.
The company then attempted to stop the water inflow with a cement mixture, but was unable to do so completely.
Source: Asahi Shimbun