Government officials have examined an underground ice wall built around Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to confirm whether the soil has frozen.
Work is ongoing to build a 1.5 kilometer barrier of frozen soil encircling reactor buildings. The goal is to prevent underground water from seeping into the plant premises, resulting in more tainted water.
Coolants are being circulated from pipes buried around the reactor site.
Work to build an ice wall began in March, and is almost completed.
State minister for industry, Yosuke Takagi and others on Monday looked at an exposed section of the ice wall.
They said the ice wall had hardened enough to withstand being hit with a hammer.
Officials say prior to construction of the ice wall, workers collected some 350 tons of underground water on a daily basis. The amount has shrunk to about 200 tons.
Japan’s nuclear regulator is also planning to assess the effectiveness of the ice wall installment.