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The science of nuclear energy
The science of nuclear energy

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3.3 Fukushima – water issues

Listen to the news report from the BBC’s Tokyo correspondent, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes talking to Adam Rutherford, dated August 2013, about two and a half years after the incident at Fukushima.

It discusses plans for an ice wall that was being designed to help stem the flow of water at the Fukushima. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes explains why the geographical position of the site and the flow of groundwater are making the task extremely difficult.

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The two main issues identified are:

  1. Containment of the contaminated water. There is an increasing amount of this in storage!
  2. Isolating the groundwater from the contaminated water.

In fact the ice wall method of containment failed and was abandoned in 2014. Various attempts were made to cool the water sufficiently for it to freeze but were unsuccessful, leaving the issue of water flow ongoing.

In the next section, find out about the other ongoing challenges at Fukushima.