Fukushima Frozen Wall Update; October 4, 2016
TEPCO published a new report on the frozen wall dated September 29. TEPCO states that they have frozen 95 percent of the land side section of the wall. They asked the NRA again within the last week for permission to freeze the remaining sections of the land side frozen wall sections. NRA denied this request but did not provide a clear rationale for their decision. Groundwater levels inside the reactor areas has been on the rise due to more success freezing the sea side section of the wall. TEPCO is also now planning to remove some of the contaminated water from the reactor and turbine building basements.
All monitoring points continue on downward trends in temperature. This includes the sections not actually frozen to date. All sections remain below 0 degrees Celsius.
All of the groundwater level and hydraulic head monitoring wells have been trending upwards since around August 12th. This is before typhoon Lionrock hit the area around August 30th.
TEPCO also continues to inject concrete and a soil solidification substance in areas of the frozen wall that have been resistant to proper freezing. Areas flagged as completed are showing some improvement in freezing.
The report also shows where the temperatures rose due to rainfall from recent typhoons. It appears the deeper monitoring points saw the largest temperature increases. There was also a concerning note buried later in the report related to a section where they had used concrete to block the water flow. As that section improved, suddenly the section adjacent to it began to have the same temperature rise/thaw problem. So the concrete work just caused the water flow to divert to another part of the wall.
“*The soil temperature at 90-13S fell below 0°C. However, the soil temperature at the adjacent 80-13S rose. Groundwater flowed into 80-13S because it lost paces to go due to the success of supplementary method for 90-13S. Therefore, application of supplementary methods at 80-13S continues.”
Efforts to cement sections of the land side wall have begun and will take place through October.
Another typhoon may hit Fukushima prefecture this week, if it does it may cause further problems with the frozen wall.
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