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Fukushima ice wall hopes to contain melted down nuclear reactors

A frozen underground soil wall is being built around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to stop radioactive groundwater from leaking into the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Construction of ice wall aims to stop the flow of underground radioactive water
Photo by Handout

Nuclear Engineering International reports that workers began installing equipment to freeze the soil around the four reactor units last week. The barrier is being funded by the Japanese government and hopes to be completed early next year.

An in depth article by CleanTechnica on the details of the ice wall reports that no one has ever tried to install such a structure this big or this permanent. In the past buried ice walls have been used on a much smaller scale, only as a temporary measure for sinking mine shafts and tunnel building.The article raises serious doubts as to the effectiveness of the ice wall project.

Is nuclear power worth the risks?

In March 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was caused by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake. The series of events resulted in a meltdown of three of the plant's six nuclear reactors.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has been making news for over three years, and appears it be a topic for concern for many years in the future. Carelessness dealing with dangerous materials in the aftermath can increase the odds for a greater disaster in the future.

As we look at nuclear power as a potential area of concern for a disaster we try to put the overall issue of nuclear safety in balance. Recently in the midst of renewed concerns over radiation leaks at Japan, we presented the article "Environmentalist Mark Lynas claims opposing nuclear power is a mistake." The article included a BBC news video by Lynas delivering a decent presentation on the merits of nuclear power.

How safe are America's nuclear power plants?

The number of "near-miss" accidents at America's nuclear power plants over the last three years is pretty frightening. Are we playing "Russian Roulette" with our nuclear power safety?

Are you prepared?

Do you have tips to share on how you prepare disasters and emergencies? Connect with Tom Peracchio on social media... @Gu42 on Twitter , Guru42 on Google+ or Guru42 on Facebook.