An ambitious high-tech plan has been unveiled to stem the flow of groundwater into the reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi. Vertical pipes dug into the soil at 1 metre intervals all around the four reactors (a distance of 1.4 kilometers) would contain a special coolant which will freeze the surrounding soil and create a frozen wall to keep water out of the reactors. It's been proposed by Kajima Construction and the government's going to foot the bill. This is in parallel with the existing plan to pump water out before it reaches the reactors and bypass it into the sea. It is hoped that by using these two methods the reactors will be dry in EIGHT years time so decommissioning work can continue. Apparently it's a technology used in tunnelling where the soil's kept frozen for a couple of years. This wall will have to be kept frozen for 30 - 40 years.
It's a lovely day today but Osaka and Tokyo are officially in the rainy season and it won't be long before the weather here turns overcast and the humidity soars. I'm making plans for the weekend. There's a big festival on in Fukushima city with a smaller version here in Koriyama. The famous big festivals from this part of the world are getting together for an annual event which started after the disaster in 2011. So we have the huge paper floats from the Nebuta festival in Aomori, the Kanto festival in Akita with lanterns on long poles, the Tanabata festival from Sendai as well as the huge straw sandal festival from Fukushima and numerous homegrown drumming groups etc. It's called Rokkonsai 六魂祭 which means Six Souls Festival (it's a play on words of Rokken 六県 which means the six prefectures in Tohoku). English website here.
It'll be good to see these festivals whilst the weather's relatively cool but it's going to need some planning as it promises to be very crowded.