Tuesday May 27, 2014
08:54 PM GMT+8

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TOKYO, May 27 —  Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has given the go-ahead for the construction of an underground ice wall around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, a project aimed at keeping radioactive water from leaking into the sea.

The wall is estimated to cost 47 billion yen (RM1.4 billion).

The plan will create a wall of frozen earth around the reactors using pipes filled with coolant. Upgrades will also be made to water treatment systems to deal with the build-up of contaminated water, according to officials.

The Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Cooling systems to the reactors were knocked out in the incident and subsequently melted down. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has been pumping in water to cool the reactors, but has resulted in the creation of large quantities of radioactive water, which is being stored in temporary tanks at the site.

An estimated 300 tonnes of contaminated water are believed to leak into the Pacific Ocean each day from the front of the nuclear plant’s wharf. — ReutersWearing protective suits and masks, a Japanese journalist heads for the central control room for the unit one and unit two reactors in the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture May 14, 2014. — Reuters picWearing protective suits and masks, a Japanese journalist heads for the central control room for the unit one and unit two reactors in the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture May 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

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