Fukushima Frozen Wall Experiences New Problems

Certain sections of the frozen wall have been degrading since January. The two end sections and certain portions of the sea side wall sections have been thawing. At the same time the two land side sections saw a small improvement.

We looked at weather trends for this period of time. Temperatures through this time period from January 1 to March 15 were mostly steady with February being colder than January and only the latter parts of the March portion being higher than January. Precipitation for this time period was zero.
Jan_March_2018_tempsweather
Temperature graphs for the frozen wall sections showed steady fluctuations in the monitoring zones for both end sections of the frozen wall. These two areas saw some of the more significant thawing. The red comment on those sections cites “maintenance” but does not explain what kind of maintenance. The steady up and down of some of these graphs may indicate that they were shutting off those systems for a short period of time then turning them back on to not cause further thawing. Other sections show a continual downward temperature trend even though the color graphs show thawing. There are no corresponding temperature graphs for the sea front sections, leaving those sections a bit of a mystery.
temps3_15

The color graphs below are of each section of the frozen wall with the January section first then the March section. The February graphs of these sections also show incremental thawing between the January and March changes.

Section 1:
frozenwall1_9_section1 frozenwall3_15_section1
Section 2:
frozenwall1_9_section2 frozenwall3_15_section2
Section 3:
frozenwall1_9_section3 frozenwall3_15_section3
Section 4:
frozenwall1_9_section4 frozenwall3_15_section4
Section 5:
frozenwall1_9_section5 frozenwall3_15_section5
Section 6:
frozenwall1_9_section6 frozenwall3_15_section6
A more recent report at the end of March indicated there is maintenance work going on with the freezing equipment heads on the wall. Exactly what is being replaced, why or its influence on the wall thawing was not explained. The fluctuating temperature readings for the side areas of the wall may show that on/off maintenance work. A graph within the report indicated that water levels near those side sections had increased.

We will continue to monitor this issue and update with new reports as things change.

Related documents:

Late March Frozen Wall Report
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2018/images1/handouts_180329_04-j.pdf

March Frozen Wall Report –
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2018/images1/handouts_180315_02-j.pdf

February Frozen Wall Report –
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2018/images1/handouts_180222_04-j.pdf

January Frozen Wall Report –
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2018/images1/handouts_180111_05-j.pdf

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