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Refrigeration to the rescue?


JAPAN: Refrigeration could come to the rescue of the Tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant which is still spewing contaminated water into the sea more than two years after the disaster.

Ground-freezing technology used in the building of dams and mines could be called upon to stem the seepage into the land and sea from the 300 tons of radiation contaminated water, which is pumped into the reactors every day in an effort to cool them.

Most of the water is recycled but a significant amount still seeps away despite an underground barrier built to try to prevent the contaminated groundwater from reaching the sea.

Now the Tokyo Electric Power Company responsible for the site is considering spending upwards of $400m to create and maintain what would be a mile long stretch of artificial frozen earth. According to the Japan Daily Press it would require 9.8MW of power to maintain.

Contrary to many reports in the Japanese press the technology has been tried and tested over more than 100 years. Freezing the ground as a means of providing temporary earth support and ground water control has been used in the mining industry and it is debatable whether either the famous Coulee and Hoover Dams would ever have been constructed without the use of ground freezing. In the case of the Coulee Dam, pipes were driven into the earth and fed by an ammonia/brine refrigeration system. Similar techniques are still used today.


Latest News

21st February 2024

CCF publishes election manifesto

UK: In a new manifesto ahead of this year’s general election, the Cold Chain Federation (CCF) is calling for future government’s to take action to recognise the industry’s crucial contributions.
21st February 2024

Sanhua extends expansion valve applications

SPAIN: Sanhua’s SEC HD electric expansion valve controller is now compatible for a variety of applications with 29 commonly used refrigerants, including CO2, hydrocarbons and HFCs. 
20th February 2024

F-gas regulation published in Official Journal

EUROPE: The new F-gas regulation has now been published in the EU’s Official Journal, making it legally binding and entering into force in 20 days.
20th February 2024

Carrier Germany increases heat pump training

GERMANY: Carrier Germany is offering new hydraulics training courses  at its training centre on the IKKE campus in Duisburg to support the growing demand for heat pump expertise. 
20th February 2024

Oceanair acquired by builders’ merchant MKM

UK: Air conditioning and heat pump distributor Oceanair UK has been acquired by MKM, the independent builders’ merchant.
20th February 2024

Carrier to build factory and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA: Carrier is to build an advanced manufacturing and R&D facility in Saudi Arabia in a partnership with Alat, a new Riyadh-based public investment fund company.