Expansible Plastic Barrier For Sequestration Of Chemically, Biologically And Radioactively Hazardous Liquids

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The present invention's primary-embodiment is a sand-anchored, double-layered flexible fiber-reinforced plastic-barrier which can be used to sequester liquids released from chemical, nuclear or sewage processing-plants, and to capture oil and gases that might be released from underwater-oil-drilling-platforms, as a consequence of hurricanes, earthquakes, oil drilling pipe fractures and from chemical or nuclear-power-plant accidents. The fiber-reinforced thermoplastic-sheets are held together by parallel, thermoplastically-embedded crystalline-alloy-seam-anchoring-cables, which are thermally-bonded, during manufacture, between the parallel-fiber-reinforced double-sheets at 3-to-8-foot intervals, using computer-actuated-hydraulically-opposed heated-anvils, with the ends of each alloy-cable robotically crimped into “anchor-loops”. The toxic or radioactive liquid contained behind or within the double-layered, fiber-reinforced, expansible-plastic-barrier, is isolated from the adjacent uncontaminated water of a nearby lake or river or from the ocean, until it can be evacuated by pipe-line, or by containment-tank trucks(or ships); or processed and decontaminated on-site by an adjacent robotically-controlled filtration and disposal system.

The top edge of the expansible plastic barrier can be lifted from its resting-place on the bottom of the lake (or ocean or river-bed) floor, by inflation of the upper “channel”, or alternatively by inflation of expansible air bladders attached to the flexible top edge of the double-layered sheets with aid of robotically-activated winches mounted atop regularly spaced, concrete-anchored, vertical inter-locking multi-sectioned vertical Transparent Aluminum-1 support pylons. In addition to providing an isolation barrier or tank, these designs can potentially be modified to quite literally capture the water from an incoming tidal-wave.

In some applications, where the probable location of a potential contamination leak is known, the same purpose may be more effectively achieved by folding the “containment sheets” in half and thermoplastically or clamp-sealing all three free-edges around a central, dual-channeled-concentric input and output pipe. This will effectively accomplish construction of an “Ambient Pressure, Under-Water, Expansible, Fiber-reinforced, Double-Layered, Liquid Isolation and Containment Tank”. Properly designed and installed, this approach could greatly decrease many potential contamination events resulting from earthquakes tsunamis and hurricanes. At Fukushima, these expansible, sealed, under-water tanks, deployed offshore, could provide an easily implemented and inexpensive means to isolate radioactive water that eliminates the need to construct and seal multiple more-vulnerable, large steel land-supported containment-tanks.

Pre-installment of this invention within lakes and rivers around the interfaces of such sources of potential contamination with fresh water supplies for cities will ultimately save thousands of lives by the prevention of water borne infectious diseases, if not also from chemical and nuclear contamination. This persistent water-supply contamination-problem has been the cause of unnecessary morbidity and mortality for centuries, is particularly a common consequence of hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes, as well as due to various seasonally related elevation of river levels. The Inventor believes that these problems can be easily improved, if not indeed in many cases, completely prevented, by widespread adoption of various relatively simple versions of this invention.

Figures 1 and 2 demonstrates potential installation at Fukushima. Figure 3 demonstrates the cylindrical-installation of 2 expansible sheets around a multi-sectioned-interlocked-cylindrical-alloy-girder-frame surrounding an underwater-oil-drilling-platform.

Alternative applications for solar-heated, isolated, protected fisheries and swimming areas are easily possible.


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  • Name:
    Harvey Kaplan
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