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'Ice Wall' Fails to Freeze Toxic Water Buildup at Japan's Fukushima Power Plant

A costly "ice wall" is failing to keep groundwater from seeping into the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, data from operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. show, preventing it from removing radioactive melted fuel at the site seven years after a meltdown disaster. When the ice wall was announced in 2013, Tepco assured skeptics that it would limit the flow of groundwater into the plant's basements, where it mixes with highly radioactive debris from the site's reactors, to "nearly nothing." However, since the ice wall became fully operational at the end of August, an average of 141 metric tons a day of water has seeped into the reactor and turbine areas, more than the average of 132 metric tons a day during the prior nine months, a Reuters analysis of the Tepco data showed. The groundwater seepage has delayed Tepco's cleanup at the site and may undermine the entire decommissioning process for the plant, which was battered by a tsunami seven years ago this Sunday....

 

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