TOKYO — Turning soil into virtual permafrost with refrigerated coolant piped through the earth was first used in the 1860s to shore up coal mines. Now it’s the newest idea for containing the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
At least 300 tons of water laced with radioactive particles of cesium, strontium linked to bone cancer, and tritium flow each day into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled atomic station in Japan. The plan to contain the health threat is to build an underground containment wall made of ice.
After repeated failures to hold back water contaminated by the 2011 disaster, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is running out of options to deal with what has been called an ‘‘urgent problem’’ by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.