Thursday, March 31, 2011

World's Largest Concrete Pumps Going to #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

The "Chernobyl" solution here we come. (Who was that who said there would be no "Chernobyl" solution? Oh yeah the entire Japanese government.)

The article says there are only 3 such concrete pumps in the world, with 70-meter booms and operated with remote control. They were all made by a German company, Putzmeister. Two of them will go to Fukushima. There's also a 58-meter-boom pump from Vietnam going there, and two 62-meter-boom pumps are already on the way to Fukushima from Germany.

They will be first used to pump water for cooling, then to pump concrete, it is understood, according to the article below.

From The Atlanta Chronicle (3/31/2011; whole article at the link):

The world’s largest concrete pump, deployed at the construction site of the U.S. government’s $4.86 billion mixed oxide fuel plant at Savannah River Site, is being moved to Japan in a series of emergency measures to help stabilize the Fukushima reactors.

“The bottom line is, the Japanese need this particular unit worse than we do, so we’re giving it up,” said Jerry Ashmore, whose company, Augusta-based Ashmore Concrete Contractors, Inc., is the concrete supplier for the MOX facility.

The 190,000-pound pump, made by Germany-based Putzmeister has a 70-meter boom and can be controlled remotely, making it suitable for use in the unpredictable and highly radioactive environment of the doomed nuclear reactors in Japan, he said.

“There are only three of these pumps in the world, of which two are suited for this work, so we have to get it there as soon as we can,” Ashmore said in an interview with The Chronicle today. “Time is very much a factor.”

The pump was moved Wednesday from the construction site in Aiken County to a facility in Hanahan, S.C., for minor modifications, and will be trucked to Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport, where it will be picked up by the world’s largest cargo plane, the Russian-made Antonov 225, which will fly it to Tokyo.

The move to Atlanta, he added, will require expedited special permits from Georgia’s Department of Transportation, due to the weight of the equipment. If all goes well, the pump will be en route to Japan sometime next week.

According to Putzmeister’s website, four smaller pumps made by the company are already at work at Fukushima pumping water onto the overheated reactors.


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