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Putzmeister Concrete Pump for Japan

At the damaged power plant in Fukushima, all efforts are being focused on cooling the fuel rods in order to avoid a nuclear fusion. Since Monday, 21 March 2011, a Putzmeister pump is in action in the front line.

With the 58 meter concrete pump it is also possible to convey water. The pump is driven by the Diesel motor of the 5-axle truck it is mounted on. In this way, it can be operated independently of an external power supply and can transport 160 m3 of water per hour, coming from the sea directly in front of Fukushima.

The invaluable advantage of the pump is the possibility to place the 58 m manipulator arm via remote-control directly over the target. As the arm has 5 articulated joints, the pump can easily overcome obstacles. In order to facilitate this procedure, a camera has been installed at the head of the arm. The machine can be approached up to 45 m to the cooling pond. The water reaches the right spot systematically from above and is not being spurted, as has been the case with the fire brigade´s spraying devices which have been in use up to now. On the weekend, first tests were run, and since Monday the pump is in full use.

Normally, truck-mounted concrete pumps of this size can not be matriculated in Japan, but in order to cover the distance to the building, this kind of pump is exactly what is needed. The machine had originally been on its way to another customer and was redirected to Japan without further ado right after the accident. The financial aspect has to be taken care of by Tepco, the company operating the reactor in Fukushima.

The staff of the Putzmeister service station in Japan are now instructing the Tepco workers on how to operate the pump. It is currently being used at a cooling pond of the reactor to cool down the fuel rods. If the application of the 58 m pump is successful, the commissioning of another, 70 m Putzmeister pump is planned. As it would take to long to convey it by ship, the possibility to deliver it as fast as possible by plane is currently being evaluated.

What will happen to the pump afterwards is not clear. At the moment, the most important thing is to get the situation under control. If the pump is contaminated too much by radiation, it will not be possible to use it elsewhere, maybe there will be an opportunity to use it in Fukushima. When the radioactively contaminated rubble in Tschernobyl had to be covered with concrete in 1986, Putzmeister pumps were used as well.

Fukusima Concrete Pump 


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