TEPCO recently closed the last section of the steel and concrete sea wall built to prevent contaminated groundwater from flowing into the port and the sea. Now NHK is reporting that the sea wall is leaning outward by about 20cm. Workers also found that the seafront pavement has begun to crack. Both of these are specifically cited as being due to the building groundwater pressure.
TEPCO began pumping out contaminated water from subdrain pits near the reactor buildings in recent months. But they also turned off the test run of the frozen wall in late August, claiming they would put it into full operation in January. The test run had been working with most land side zones down below freezing. TEPCO did not explain why they turned off the frozen wall after the test run rather than keeping it in operation.
Efforts to stem the flow of groundwater through the site had raised concerns about land subsiding if too much ground water was removed. Now the opposite has happened. The outlet in the steel wall has been closed up without having all of the other tools in operation to stem the influx of water coming in. TEPCO has not said yet what they would do to deal with the new problem of the bulging wall and sea front pavement.
Recent frozen wall graphs from 11.19.2015
frozen wall handouts_151119_05-j
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