28 Avril 2015
April 28, 2015
Apr. 28, 2015 - Updated 11:59 UTC+2
Japan's nuclear regulators have approved a plan by the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to build an underground wall of ice to stem the buildup of contaminated water in reactor buildings.
Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to freeze soil around the No.1 to No.4 reactor buildings to create an ice wall 1.5 kilometers long. The wall is intended to keep groundwater from seeping into the reactor buildings.
The utility began work on the project last June. Workers drove pipes into the ground for containing liquid that will be frozen.
On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved TEPCO's plan to start trials on Thursday to freeze the liquid at 18 locations.
If the ice forms as planned, TEPCO will start freezing the liquid at other locations, pending government approval, to eventually create a wall of ice.
But it's unclear how long it will take to complete the ice wall due to its unprecedented scale.
In addition, construction has been hampered by a delay in removing radioactive wastewater from underground utility tunnels around the reactor buildings.