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Ground freezing planned to prevent further pollution from Fukushima nuclear power plant

The Japanese government has pledged to spend Y32bn (£206M) to create a cut-off wall using ground freezing around the earthquake-damaged  Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Reports in recent weeks from the site owner Tokyo Electric (Tepco) has shown that contaminated water is leaking from the plant at higher volumes and with greater radiation levels than previously thought.

The ground freezing is part of a wider Y50bn (£260M) publicly funded plan to prevent contaminated water leaking from the site that includes construction of an outer cut-off wall using more conventional combi-wall.

News of the plans were announced following the 32nd meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters and second meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Council organised by prime minister Shinzo Abe.

The Japanese government has said that the ground freezing solution has never been used on this scale for a long-term solution before and said that using the technology that is more commonly applied to short-term construction needs would not be a simple solution.

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