I observed the ice wall efforts at Fukushima indirectly via webcam surveillance.
I noticed a decrease in visible atmospheric emissions from the area around unit 3 on the cams when the ice wall was activated. Unfortunately, that decrease around unit 3 has proved temporary, as the screenshots at the bottom of this post illustrate.
Unit 1's emissions and the common spent fuel pool emissions seemed less visibly impacted by the ice wall. I think there must be really hot fuel inside unit 1 (maybe in the spent fuel pool) because I frequently have seen a crane lower some sort of contraption into that building that I suspect disperses nitrogen or some chemical to cool hot fuel.
So, the ice wall seemed to have some positive, albeit limited, impact on reducing steam production at Fukushima by limiting the volume of water rushing down the river under the plant.
But nature has once again outplayed man's technological prowess. Water's molecular bonds, geological activity and typhoons have outpaced TEPCO's fixes.
Here is a pdf of screenshots I took from August 23 to 31:
Fukushima emissions around unit 3 have risen significantly in the wake of the storm.
This occurred at the same time officials reported that the ice wall had failed:
Kohei Tomita. Sep. 2 2016. Typhoons cause ‘ice wall’ to melt at Fukushima nuclear plant. The Asahi Shimbun, http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/f1-np/camera/index-e.html
I wonder if TEPCO and Japanese government officials ever watch cams at the plant or even read reports on plant contamination? I worry that all they read are financial reports that exclude social-environmental considerations.Rainfall from recent typhoons caused partial melting of the “ice wall” at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, allowing highly radioactive water to leak from around the damaged reactor buildings... [TEPCO] said melting occurred at two sections of the ice wall, which is designed to divert groundwater away from the reactor buildings. TEPCO officials believe that during the latest typhoon, contaminated water from around the reactor buildings flowed through openings of the ice wall created by the deluge and reached downstream toward the sea.
From my point of view, plant conditions don't look so good, despite low precipitation. I wonder whether the failure in the ice wall is spreading?
Here is a link to my post-typhoon observations: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2016_08_01_archive.html
The unit 3 area has been looking especially bad: