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Japanese Ice Wall To Stop Reactor Leaks

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the proposal-by-kim-stanley-robinson dept.

Japan 225

minstrelmike writes "Japan is planning to install a two-mile, subterranean ice wall around the Fukushima nuclear plant. 'The ice wall would freeze the ground to a depth of up to 30 meters (100 feet) through a system of pipes carrying a coolant as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit). That would block contaminated water from escaping from the facility's immediate surroundings, as well as keep underground water from entering the reactor and turbine buildings, where much of the radioactive water has collected.' The technology they're using has not been used to that extent before, nor for more than a couple years. An underground water expert said, 'the frozen wall won't be ready for another two years, which means contaminated water would continue to leak out.' But at least they have a $470 million plan ready to present to the Olympic committee choosing between Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo."

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Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44748649)

Whatcouldpossiblygowrong?

Re:Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about a year ago | (#44748709)

What do you mean nothing went wrong? I thought Tokyo would get leveled, for the 3rd time this week!

Re:Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about a year ago | (#44748999)

leveled? you mean irradiated. Let's not blow this out of proportion.
The building will still be there, just the people might not be.

Re:Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (4, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44749165)

thank goodness for this ice wall. I was afraid they would pursue a pie-in-the-sky undependable solution! Cave of steel would have been my second choice, followed by Bespin like floating city.

Re:Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#44749227)

Whatcouldpossiblygowrong?

Well, it could lose power.

I mean, sure, there's a quite a bit longer time to failure once the power is lost compared to the reactor cooling system (i.e. the time it would take for underground super-chilled ice to melt), but seriously what is it with Tepco and safety systems that rely on the thing they're protecting working right?

Re:Ice Wall, Godzilla, Radiation, Earthquakes (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44749993)

Really? A big wall of ice and you go with a Godzilla reference?

You know nothing, ColdWetDog.

The Wall? (5, Funny)

PlastikMissle (2498382) | about a year ago | (#44748689)

Will there be a semi-monastic order of warriors pledged to man it and protect the realms of men?

Re:The Wall? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44748747)

I don't care, I just don't want a bunch of undead to start walking out of the plant if the wall fails.

Re:The Wall? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44748783)

only 100ft... lame :)

Re:The Wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748821)

How do you say the oath in Japanese? Anyone???

Re:The Wall? (1)

rvw (755107) | about a year ago | (#44749623)

How do you say the oath in Japanese? Anyone???

I think it's pronounced "the oath in Japanese".

Re:The Wall? (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about a year ago | (#44749981)

From some (presumably fan-subbed) Japanese subtitles for the show:

Yoru ni tsudoi watashi no kanshi wa ima yori hajimarimasu.
Sore wa watashi no shi made hitotoki mo tomarimasen.
Watashi wa tsuma mo metorazu, tochi mo shoyuu sezu, kodomo-tachi no chichi to wa narimasen, soshite eiyo mo eikou mo motomemasen.
Watashi wa shokumu ni iki soshite shinimasu.
Watashi no ken wa kurayami ni arimasu.
Watashi wa kabe no kanshinin desu.
Watashi wa ryouiki o keigo shi tate to narimasu.
Watashi wa, inochi to, meiyo o kake waitou~otchi ni seiyaku shimasu.
Kon'ya kara, otozureru subete no yoru ni.

Re:The Wall? (-1, Troll)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44748873)

No, since WWII the U.S. has generously footed the bill for all their protection. Why do you think they have money to blow on shit like this?

Re:The Wall? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44749045)

So, you'd enjoy a Japanese military with significant offensive capability? We tried that once...now you can certainly argue they're 'different' now, and you'd probably be right. But it's not why the policy was started. You really didn't want an armed Japan or Germany for that matter after WWII.

Re:The Wall? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749065)

Ah, good, it only took 18 minutes for a generic whackjob kook to derp in and try to commandeer a discussion about JAPAN and the radiation leaked by the Fukushima reactors into whatever bullshit UNITED STATES political leaning you follow and so desperately need to tell the world about. Fuck off.

The short; (5, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | about a year ago | (#44749279)

The prohibition on armed forces is written into Article 9 the Japanese Constitution of 1947, which states that Japan forever swears off war as a mechanism of foreign policy to resolve disputes. This was an article that was pressed in in order to ensure that Japan could never rise up militarily again - the Pacific campaign was incredibly brutal, and the Americans didn't see the worst of it (the Chinese and Koreans were treated worse). To this day China and both Korea's are still angry with Japan for what they perceive as a failure to sufficiently apologize for what the Japanese did earlier this century, and they would massively oppose any move by Japan towards returning to that state (i.e., getting a real military instead of the Self-Defense Forces they currently have).

Plus, the majority of the Japanese population supports Article 9 - the long-term suffering of the Japanese population via Allied air raids (read about the Tokyo firebombings that killed more people directly than the A-bomb attacks) punctuated by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has provided an inherent anti-war sentiment in subsequent generations of Japanese people.

In short, the US cannot decide for Japan whether to allow them to have an actual military - the US does not have the legal power to do so, and no one involved wants to eliminate this situation. (copy pasted from Yahoo)

The long;

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/89apr/defend.htm [theatlantic.com]

Wrong wall. (5, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | about a year ago | (#44748879)

We don't need no radiation
We don't need no Tepcontrol
No dark sarcasm in the controlroom
Tepco leave them rods alone
Hey! Tepco! leave the rods alone!

Re:Wrong wall. (5, Funny)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year ago | (#44749015)

All in all, it's just another ice cube in the wall

Re:Wrong wall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749093)

Ah /. you're on fire tonight.

Re:The Wall? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44749273)

More importantly will it be as strong as the one that holds our oceans and atmosphere from falling off!?

Re:The Wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749731)

In Japanese (thanks Google translate):
Yoru ni wa gyaz, soshite ima watashi no tokei ga hajimarimasu. Sore wa watashi ga shinu made owaranai mono to suru. Watashi wa, mattaku tsuma o toru koto naku tochi o hoji shimasen, chichi no nai kodomo-tachi o shinakereba naranai. Watashi wa kan o chakuy shite orazu, mattaku no eik o kakutoku shite wa naranai. Watashi ga sunde ite, watashi no posuto de shinu. Watashi wa kurayaminonakade kendesu. Watashi wa kabe ni u~otchdesu. Watashi wa dansei no ryiki o mamoru tatedesu. Watashi wa kono yoru to kuru subete no haku, yoru no tokei ni jibun no jinsei to meiyo o chikau.

minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenheit) (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748723)

minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenheit)

*Sigh* (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44748765)

Turn in your geek card.

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748775)

omg it does. facepalm

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (5, Insightful)

mcl630 (1839996) | about a year ago | (#44748789)

-40 Celsius IS equal to -40 Fahrenheit.

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#44749037)

minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenheit)

I was going to make a snarky comment thanking them for the conversion, but I guess it was needed! -40F does equal -40C.

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#44749087)

Tis where the two meet. I'm guessing the conversion was included just to show off that fact (and maybe see who would assume it was a typo).

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749455)

Tis where the two meet. I'm guessing the conversion was included just to show off that fact (and maybe see who would assume it was a typo).

It was probably done because the paper TFA is in probably has a policy of always showing conversions. Additionally, most laypeople who don't live in extremely cold climates don't know that. So they show it in celcius because that's what the source (Japan) uses, then shows what it is in Fahrenheit so that your average person understands that it's still pretty damn cold.

Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (3, Funny)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#44749651)

Quote Lex Luthor: WRONG!!!

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=-40C+in+Farenheit [lmgtfy.com]

Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748729)

Really? A wall, when you're not spending time to actually remove the fuel, which is the recommended (but more expensive in the short term) procedure?

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748881)

I bet they would've if they'd even the slightest inkling how to do that without causing a disaster worse than the original tsunami...

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44749205)

in pacific rim they built a wall to keep out the kanji. maybe this is a first step in that process?

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year ago | (#44749727)

I haven't seen that movie yet, did they really build a huge wall to keep out Japan's writing system based on Chinese characters?

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44749849)

yes, but also kaiju.

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44750021)

I haven't seen that movie yet, did they really build a huge wall to keep out Japan's writing system based on Chinese characters?

If you'd ever tried to learn to read/write kanji you wouldn't have to ask that question.

Re:Remove the fuel you idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749865)

in pacific rim they built a wall to keep out the kanji. maybe this is a first step in that process?

I don't recall any cities being attacked by 200-foot tall letters. Was this a deleted scene?

This needs to be taken out of their hands (5, Insightful)

JudgeFurious (455868) | about a year ago | (#44748743)

I don't understand why so many nations are trying to reach a consensus on military action in Syria over a chemical weapon attack that may or may not have been done by the regime there but nobody has suggested multi-national cooperation to take over the mess in Fukushima. Japan has failed miserably at dealing with this crisis and continues to do so. It's time to tell them to get the fuck out of the way and bring world-wide resources to bear on this. The UN should be bringing countries together to solve problems like this.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748799)

Exactly. How about we build an ice wall around Syria and fill it with all the nuclear waste from Fukushima.

Or was that not what you were suggesting?

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about a year ago | (#44748839)

They're only doing this to show the International Olympic Committee that they're doing something about it. It's pretty disturbing that if they weren't trying to get the 2020 Olympics, they wouldn't be doing anything.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749621)

Assumes too much, eh?

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44748847)

Because one has killed over 100,000 people and seems to be escalating towards massacre while the other might have killed a person or two and could go on to... possibly prevent people from moving back in to a small city for a while - all effects localized in a single country.

Scale. If Japanese radiation starts affecting Russian food safety or something, then you might go to the UN to let more monkeys in to fuck the football.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

Flavio (12072) | about a year ago | (#44749043)

possibly prevent people from moving back in to a small city for a while - all effects localized in a single country.

A lot of this water is escaping into the ocean, making this a global problem. At this point, we have the tragedy of the commons [wikipedia.org] .

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749353)

possibly prevent people from moving back in to a small city for a while - all effects localized in a single country.

A lot of this water is escaping into the ocean, making this a global problem.

No, because by the time it gets to global extent, it's so dilute it's not a problem any more.

At this point, we have the tragedy of the commons [wikipedia.org] .

No, the tragedy of the commons happens when negative consequences are externalized, creating an incentive for a rational, self-interested actor to exceed optimal use of a resource.

While certain negative consequences are externalize in this case, there's already ample disincentive from the local effects to make nuclear power incidents such as the recent troubles at Fukushima very undesirable to the state they occur in. If a state could be accurately modeled as a single rational, self-interested actor, they'd have prevented this leak from happening in the first place, because the cost of decent regulation is less than the harm of the local effects only -- that it happened anyway is not because they needed more disincentive from the further (and comparatively slight) harm done to the world's oceans at large, but because of regulatory capture and other effects that can't be explained without recognizing that real government consists of multiple actors, many of whom, through serving their own interest, frequently end up working against the state's interest.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (4, Interesting)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#44749855)

There's about fifty million tonnes of radioactive potassium (K-40) in the world's oceans, all natural as you can get with a half-life of ONE BILLION years!!! so it will be a persistent hazard to health until the Sun enters its red giant phase. It's the reason seawater is highly radioactive and why seafood sets off scintillometers and radiation meters (counts of about 100-150 Bq/kg typically). It also makes detecting fission isotope contamination from Fukushima and the US thermonuclear tests in the Pacific kinda tricky when the samples taken close to Fukushima read 0.05 Bq/litre from cesium-134 and cesium-137 and the meters are pegging out from the 10Bq/l emissions due to the presence of K-40. The only way to accurately measure it is to record the spectrum of the particles and gamma radiation emitted from a smaple over a period of a few weeks since the energies of the radiation due to the fission products is different to the natural K-40 background of the seawater samples.

50 million tonnes of K-40 versus a kilogramme or two of the cesium isotopes from the Fukushima reactors, which one concerns you more? Let me guess...

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748871)

I believe Japan did reach out the international community for help, but didn't receive much for a response.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748875)

I don't understand why so many nations are trying to reach a consensus on military action in Syria over a chemical weapon attack that may or may not have been done by the regime there

Really? I suggest you go and think about it some more, the answer is quite obvious.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#44749003)

Did you actually read all of what he wrote or was there too many words for you? If you are too stupid to understand what a person is saying it is better that you STF rather than explaining to everyone that you are too stupid to understand English.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749309)

Er yes I did.

I also understand that fukushima doesn't supply Europe with hundreds of thousands of barrels a day of crude...

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748887)

One is warfare the other is an industrial accident. The species will always give more attention to the former. Office people often have trouble grasping why. Rest assured our priorities are correct and continue poasting the workday away.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#44748897)

Yes, let's bring in a UN international team to deal with this crisis, consisting of such notable experts as:

U.S. FEMA, especially the Katrina veterans
Russian crack team that saved Chernobyl
Chinese People's Liberation Army, they handle all the earthquake disaster relief over there

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about a year ago | (#44749061)

FEMA doesn't deserve the bad rap, not currently. Remember, the current president hired competent managers, not some moron whose biggest achievement was putting on horsie shows.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

denobug (753200) | about a year ago | (#44749121)

Why is this post not +5 already for being funny?!

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44749401)

Agreed. Apparently we've already got Wile E. Coyote designing containment solutions.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44749495)

"Russian crack team that saved Chernobyl"

Chernobyl was not...exactly a triumph of reactor design or reactor operation; but the ensuing stabilization effort was actually pretty aggressive (albeit in a 'they had unprotected conscripts attempt to mostly extinguish a melted-down nuclear reactor and then construct a new containment building right on top of it with roughly the same attention to occupational safety and health that made the old penal battalions so exciting' sense).

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (3, Insightful)

danbert8 (1024253) | about a year ago | (#44749715)

This. Russia may have made a lot of mistakes that led up to Chernobyl, but many men gave their lives (or at least severely curtailed them) in order to prevent what could have been a lot worse.

I can tell you why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748937)

I don't understand why so many nations are trying to reach a consensus on military action in Syria over a chemical weapon attack that may or may not have been done by the regime there...

It's because they love to torture and kill people. Preferably people far away from the voters. I'm completely not kidding - our political system creates and empowers sociopaths and sadists just as Diehls said these types of systems do.

...but nobody has suggested multi-national cooperation to take over the mess in Fukushima. Japan has failed miserably at dealing with this crisis and continues to do so. It's time to tell them to get the fuck out of the way and bring world-wide resources to bear on this. The UN should be bringing countries together to solve problems like this.

It's been suggested, believe me, and the UN would love to serve this function. But there's two insurmountable stumbling blocks:

#1 - Certain People would have to admit that nuclear fission is a failed power technology in the context of any economic system modeled on the USA. (In economies that prevent regulatory capture it's just antique, not failed.)

#2 - Certain People would have to admit that the UN has a useful function it might perform. You might not be surprised that we're still talking about the same group of Certain People.

Are you retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749259)

There's no money to make in fixing fukushima!

However there's a TON of resources in syria worth a lot of money to big oil and our military.

Understand this; if there's no money to be made, no one cares - that's the sick reality we live in - deal with it

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

catfood (40112) | about a year ago | (#44749369)

Word. This is way more dangerous than some gas in Syria, and TEPCO is not solving the problem.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749631)

Word. This is way more dangerous than some gas in Syria, and TEPCO is not solving the problem.

Comments like this show why education is failing. The blind leading the blind, in every sense of the word.

Not only have environmentalists compared nuclear weapons to nuclear energy, now they are comparing some localized minor leaks (and of no importance outside of the area in question), to chemical warfare.

What's next? "You support nuclear energy? So you must support ebola for your children too!!"

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

confused one (671304) | about a year ago | (#44749469)

A number of countries have offered assistance. Japan has accepted some but have generally turned away the offer.

Re:This needs to be taken out of their hands (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44749519)

You are just too funny! To tell a sovereign nation to "fuck off" on their own land and to bring some 'multi-national cooperation to take over' sound exactly like what it is - a military attack and occupation.

What happens when coolant leaks?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748763)

What happens when coolant leaks??

Re:What happens when coolant leaks?? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44749545)

Presumably the efficiency of the chiller drops and the ice starts to melt (one presumes relatively slowly; because it's mostly insulated by being underground and water has a pretty high enthalpy of fusion) until they stop fucking up and fix the leak.

It's big and expensive(and it wouldn't totally surprise me if 'lots of vertical tubes running deep into the ground' is not a fun thing to have to maintain in earthquakeville); but the coolant is unlikely to become substantially contaminated, and virtually all contemporary refrigerants aren't particularly scary(ammonia's not fun, most of the rest are just suffocation risks).

Re:What happens when coolant leaks?? (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#44749767)

No worries, this technology is not exactly new or untried.

Over here in The Netherlands our soil is rather soft and soggy yet we manage (at a cost) to build subway and other tunnels.

Freezing of the surrounding soil untill the concrete is well in place is a common technology.
It's done with liquid Nitrogen that's trucked in from existing factories, once a sizeable chunk of soil is frozen it can withstand a few days without additional Nitrogen.

There's a reason I suggested this option: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4125869&cid=44665565 [slashdot.org] , I'm glad the Japanese read Slashdot :)

And sharks... (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#44748773)

...with laser beams. Lots of robotic submarines and other stuff so that I can build my super villain lair in there where no one will find me shielded by a huge lead wall to keep out the radiation.

This is actually the gorilla freezing step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748793)

Step #1 is the radioactive banana plantation. Step #2 concentrates the radionucleotides in gorilla flesh. And step #3 is the final cleanup step with possible shaved-iced concessions in se asia.

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748819)

I, for one, welcome the imminent arrival of our new radioactive ice monster overlords.

Another snarky stupid analysis by Soulskill.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748869)

But at least they have a $470 million plan ready to present to the Olympic committee choosing between Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo.

Soulskill, you are stupid beyond belief.

a) Try actually reading _The Mythical Man Month_. Right now you are looking as idiotic as someone who claims that 9 women can have a baby in one month.
b) The rest of society doesn't stop just because of a catastrophe. Odds are it would cost more than $470 million to divert those amount of resources from things in progress to Fukushima.
c) Maybe try to live in an area recovering from a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami before passing judgement.

If you have no other plans... (1)

spacefight (577141) | about a year ago | (#44748889)

... build a wall around it. I seriously hope, that the spent fuel pools don't need to live through another earthquake.

Re:If you have no other plans... (2)

confused one (671304) | about a year ago | (#44749143)

Problem is that the groundwater naturally flowing through the site appears to be flowing through the cracked foundations. The reactor cores in two, if not three, of those reactors are a pile of slag sitting in the bottom of the containment building. They continue to flush cooling water through the containment, in spite of the perforated reactor vessels and cracked containment building foundations. Some of this water is unnaccounted for -- more goes in than comes out in at least one reactor -- so clearly it's entering the ground. In addition, the leaks from the tanks are contaminating the groundwater stream(s). What they're trying to do is stop the movement of groundwater through the site.

Re:If you have no other plans... (1)

confused one (671304) | about a year ago | (#44749493)

for what it's worth, that's a huge concern. The fuel in the spent fuel pool in the reactor 4 building could be exposed if there is another earthquake and the pool cracks (more than it already has). The building apparently isn't the most stable structure in the world, right now.

Re:If you have no other plans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749601)

If you have no other plans, are clue-less and have no fuckn idea then.
Write the following items on a wall:
1. burn it or
2. freeze it or
3 bury it or
4 toss it into a body of water or
5 claim it was an act of god or nature
Blind-fold someone and hand them a sticker then point the person in general directon.
When the sticker is placed near one of the above plans then that's the action to take.
Works every time!
Sometime this is called "Winging-it"

underground pipes, nitrogen? and earthquakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748895)

Won't those pipes easily break/crack with an earthquake. And japan being a country who sufers them often, seems like a desperate and flawed idea.

Things are really much worse than reported no doubt.

Re:underground pipes, nitrogen? and earthquakes (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#44749799)

Ice is rather fluid and the pipes are not going particularly deep.

As I mentioned in another post they'll likely use liquid Nitrogen as a coolant, something that works fine even from cracked pipes.

Again (2)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#44748909)

Invest in offshore wind power and water power.

It might sound silly, but it is much more cost effective than nuclear power.
Look at how much damage the Fukushima has already cost TEPCO and the Japanese government.
And it is not over yet: Fukushima's Radioactive Plume Could Reach U.S. Waters By 2014
Everybody get are "fair" share.
Just one of these accidents every twenty years and it is goodbye turnover.

Re:Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749423)

Just one of these accidents every twenty years and it is goodbye turnover.

40 years after commission, an "unprecedented*" earthquake hits and you declare that to be a reliable cost that will apply to all nuclear power locations after 20 years.

I see you learned everything you know about electricity from SimCity2000, where nuclear power plants would invariable explode at the 30 year mark, littering your town with radioactive quarantine zones.

*I don't believe that it was truly without precedent for that fault, but "greater than expected given the ~1330 years of earthquake records for the islands of Japan" doesn't fit in a headline or soundbite as well

I smell an opportunity for a new ICEE flavor (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44748951)

Radiant Orange!

Don't lick the pipes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748991)

As a hardened Canadian, I feel I must warn the Japanese: Don't lick the pipes.

Selective migration (1)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about a year ago | (#44748995)

So, how soluble is the iodine in ice? As the temperature goes down, doesn't the solubility? Will this induce emission of vaporous radioactive iodine?
What about cesium? Particles of cesium will be hot, right? Won't they selectively migrate through a wall like this?
Disclaimer: the previous sentences were all questions.

Re:Selective migration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749201)

Disclaimer: the previous sentences were all questions.

Thank God you pointed that out? I had no other way to determine that?

So Just So I'm Seeing This Clearly (1)

wrackspurt (3028771) | about a year ago | (#44749041)

We need nuclear energy as an alternative to burning fossil fuels which are driving global warming but when the nuclear energy plants fail we need to build massive ice walls.

Right?

Re:So Just So I'm Seeing This Clearly (1, Flamebait)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#44749237)

Nuclear accidents have not been proven to have killed a single person. There are reasonable estimates that as many as a couple of hundred people have died from radiation derived from power plants, total.

A hundred THOUSAND people are known to die from immediate causes of fossil fuel use every single year. Most of that is coal - which only a total idiot would use to power their home. It even releases more irradiation into the environment than nuclear power does. Coal has tiny bits of radioactive particles in it. When you burn it, you release those particles into the air. They usually settle around the coal plant, only affecting the poor shmucks stuck working or living near the coal burning power plant.

Learn math. It is your friend. It will keep you from doing stupid things like objecting to a safe, clean power source because it involves complex physics that you don't understand.

Chernobyl? Re:So Just So I'm Seeing This Clearly (1, Informative)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about a year ago | (#44749435)

Chernobyl Death Toll: 985,000

http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-book-concludes-chernobyl-death-toll-985-000-mostly-from-cancer/20908 [globalresearch.ca]

we can dance around the word "proven", but deaths there certainly have been.

What's really dumb is that you could have made your point without including that stupid statement as your first paragraph. Fossil fuels are currently killing people in fairly large number and have the potential, through climate change, to kill millions. Nuclear accidents are killing people, but improved technologies have the potential to limit this and nuclear power need not be "dirty" in normal use. None of that means we should decrease our investments in renewables.

Re:So Just So I'm Seeing This Clearly (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about a year ago | (#44749453)

Someone mod the parent up! The tone of his post may not be great, but the message is bang on the money.

Mathematics and physics can be used to create and understand wonderful things. Literature and philosophy can be used to create and understand methods of sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt over the aforementioned wonderful things.

as cold as what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749047)

coolant as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit). o_O huh?!

Re:as cold as what? (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44749797)

They are the same temperature. That is the crossover point of the two scales: (-40C * 9/5) + 32 == -40F

What I don't understand is: (1)

denobug (753200) | about a year ago | (#44749189)

Why has no one discuss the reason that the good old concrete injection would not do the trick. We have the drilling technology and the injection technology at our disposal, both prove to be highly efficient. Are there issues we don't know about? Also I think the cost estimate seems to be too low.

Fer chrissake with the -40... (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year ago | (#44749257)

Seriously, this is high school stuff here guys. The conversion formula (F to C) is:
F = (9/5)*C + 32

@ -40 C...
F(-40) = (9/5)*(-40) + 32
F(-40) = -72 + 32
F(-40) = -40


If you want it in reverse (C to F), the formula is:
C = (5/9)*(F - 32)

@ -40 F...
C(-40) = (5/9)*(-40 - 32)
C(-40) = (5/9)*(-72)
C(-40) = -40

Oh and if you were all trolling, it was moderately effective.

I can see it now. (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#44749327)

Some icehole will be responsible for leaking radioactive water.

Seems unfeasible; point the finger; (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44749383)

It seems like there are many reasons why this won't work. Why are they trying to beat this thing thermally? It seems unsustainable at the outset, in terms of cost and maintenance, let alone whether it will work in terms of mechanics and chemistry. If it's such a grand scheme that it's projected two years out, maybe the assumption should be that it's too complicated for Tepco to handle and/or it's too complicated for the delicate situation on the ground at Fukushima (where what integrity exists seem to be falling apart quickly).

And though it seems like Tepco and Japan have been a bit incompetent in handling things like disclosure, responsibility, approach, and honesty, it probably will never happen that Japan will be elbowed out of the way by any outside agency, including the UN. Japan still has Tepco on the ground at Fukushima because it's Tepco's problem and potentially Tepco's fault. It's much easier to keep the blame-monster fully enclosed in one cheap and effective enclosure than to spread its infection to numerous other parties. If Tepco fails, Japan can blame them because nobody else has had a hand in it. If Tepco moves out of the way and lets the Japanese government handle it, then Tepco can be dispatched for being incompetent, and potentially all of their resources and assets can be liquidated toward the effort. Having a third party involved make it a potentially stickier situation with less decisive consequences and less narrow goals and demands to be met.

You can take that relationship and expand on it to see why it is almost a bad idea to step in from outside of Japan. If radioactive plumes reach California and nobody has been involved but Japan and Tepco, then who can be blamed? Only Japan and only Tepco. If it has become an international effort involving Russians ... no, bad idea ... involving some engineers from somewhere (?) then that at worst leaves us with even more parties to blame and, potentially, even more duplicity along the way while at best it leaves us with a sort of muddied water where feel-good "we're all in this together" has completely erased the instinct to place blame. Without the prospect of blame and consequences, you get foot-dragging and indecisiveness which all the bleeding hearts in the world won't drag out of lethargy.

You can say that the real-world, radio and chemical consequences should be enough to push us all to shove those competitive instincts out of the way but I personally don't think that will ever happen.

As some have pointed out, Fukushima isn't even a talking point. Grand standing and chest-beating over an obviously snafu situation where major news reporting more closely resembles yellow journalism than actual information and where the politically accused party is being accused by those with vested interests in that party's failure who've made this accusation and failed before, is the call of the day.

I'm sure the level of sardonic "irony" so prevalent in global culture today is enough that most people can understand why Japan will be left to figure this out on their own until they ask for help, and why at which point any countries expected to help will have to be dragged out of bed kicking and screaming by citizens "blowing whistles" about irradiation before any semblance of effort is really shown.

Re:Seems unfeasible; point the finger; (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#44749891)

This type of cooling has been done before, all it requires is a steady supply of liquid Nitrogen and that's easy though not particularly cheap.
Typically you drill the circulating tubes for the Nitrogen at a fairly close spacing, the closer the quicker it'll freeze.
Because soil is a fair insulator once you have a hefty chunk frozen you don't need to do much to keep it cold.

Misleading title (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about a year ago | (#44749409)

As I recall, the water tanks were the leaky part, not the reactor. Or am I just being pedantic?

Re:Misleading title (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year ago | (#44749533)

I think there is reason to believe the reactor is leaking stuff into the groundwater.

Stupid question: Can the melted-down reactor be moved?

Re:Misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749725)

..in principle, a determined man can move the oceans, and the mountains. And everything in between.

In practice, nobodies exactly volunteering to move a melted reactor, tho - question being, where the hell would you want to move it to?

Or, are you simply another of those "no melted-reactors on my lawn, thank you verymuch.." NiMBYS?

Re:Misleading title (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44749683)

They both leak: the integrity of the reactor vessel is Not So Good these days; but it's still overheating so they are pumping water in and pumping whatever doesn't leak into the ground into the holding tanks, which are also leaking.

The tanks are more of a tragifarce, since they've got that 'You run nuclear fucking reactors and you weren't able to build some water storage tanks that don't leak within an alarmingly short time after construction???' thing going on, and the radiation levels of the leaking material are high enough that just sending in the welders isn't necessarily doable.

The reactor leakage is the more serious problem; because those are hot enough, thermally and in the radiation sense, that just fixing the leaks is not really on the table; but not pumping substantial amounts of water, which will promptly be contaminated and partially escape, isn't really optional.

an ice wall? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about a year ago | (#44749473)

Nuclear winter is coming? :/

Re:an ice wall? (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44749509)

Nah, just the Winter Olympics. Now they can have cross-country hockey.

A Riddle (1)

linear a (584575) | about a year ago | (#44749551)

Can ice be hot and cold at the same time?

So, it takes an Olympic Bid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749777)

It takes an Olympic Bid for them to start reaching for a viable solution? It is not enough that their recklessness is causing lethal radiation to leak into our oceans where it can go on to give everyone cancer?

Corporatism needs to be criminalized and these criminals should be made to pay dearly for destroying the Earth.

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