Temperatures Rose In Parts Of Reactor Ice Wall

Temperatures rose in parts of reactor ice wallThe operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says due to recent heavy rain temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius in some parts of an underground ice wall.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been trying to freeze soil around damaged reactors since March. The aim is to cut the volume of contaminated water by reducing the flow of groundwater into damaged reactor buildings.

But the company says a series of storms have been dumping heavy rain in and around the plant since mid-August, pushing up temperatures in some sections of the ice wall.

The utility says wall temperatures to the south of the No.4 reactor rose from minus 5 degrees to plus 1.8 degrees at the highest through Thursday. It adds wall temperatures to the east of the No.3 reactor also went up from minus 1.5 degrees to plus 1.4 degrees.

Temperatures in these sections had been higher than others parts of the wall even before the storms. It's feared that some ice in the sections may have melted as the rain increased groundwater flows.

In response, the firm decided to inject a chemical agent in these 2 places to solidify soil, reduce water flow, and speed up freezing.

Experts point out that the ice wall is not as effective as estimated in decreasing groundwater flows. Discussion on the effectiveness is underway at the Nuclear Regulation Authority.