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SRS pump will head to Japan    

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 German-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 Thursday. "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-Jackson International 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, because of the weight of the equipment. If all goes well, the pump will be en route to Japan next week.

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

Initially, the pump from Savannah River Site, and another 70-meter Putzmeister now at a construction site in California, will be used to pump water -- and later will be used to move concrete.

"Our understanding is, they are preparing to go to next phase and it will require a lot of concrete," Ashmore said, noting that the 70-meter pump can move 210 cubic yards of concrete per hour.

Putzmeister equipment was also used in the 1980s, when massive amounts of concrete were used to entomb the melted core of the reactor at Chernobyl.

In addition to the equipment now at Fukushima and the two 70-meter pumps being moved from the U.S., a contractor in Vietnam has given up a 58-meter pump so it can be diverted to Japan, and two 62-meter pumps in Germany were loaded on Wednesday for transport to Tokyo.

So they are going for the "last resort" Chernobyl solution, apparently.

by das monde on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 01:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hum!? Maybe Jerry Ashmore is misinformed. The Japanese use the concrete pump to pump water into the spent fuel ponds.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 01:39:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do they need larger arm then? Just to spray water from further away?

I heard they are going to use dust absorbing powders to clean the air, and then work with concrete. Water contamination will remain a problem though.

by das monde on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do they need larger arm then?

Based on the photo of concrete pump truck action at the No. 4 reactor below, the currently used vehicle seems only enough to reach the edge of the buildings, so I guess it will help to better reach the parts of the top floor further away from accessible sides. (I'm not sure though whether the arm can be telescoped out further, but none of the photos I shaw showed it reaching further.)

I heard they are going to use dust absorbing powders to clean the air

No, resins to prevent dust on the ground being picked up by wind.

Fukushima plant groundwater likely contaminated despite data error | Kyodo News

In an effort to prevent radioactive dust from being dispersed by wind and rain from the plant, TEPCO will begin a test spraying of a water-soluble resin, which has coating effects, later in the day.

As a result of hydrogen explosions, masses of debris have been strewn around the site, which was ravaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. A total of 60,000 liters of resin will be sprayed over a period of two weeks.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:57:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you expect them to solve the problems just by spraying water? Apparently they can't get it inside reactors anyway.
by das monde on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:11:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on which problem you mean. Spraying water is irrelevant to the reactor cores, they are now pumping freshwater across pipes to cool those. For the cooling of the spent fuel ponds, spraying water does solve the problem, but a permanent way of pumping water across a heat exchanger would be desirable eventually, and of course a cover overhead, but first the wreckage would have to be removed for anything stable. I'm not sure what problem concrete would be supposed to solve – maybe it would block aerial fallout, but that only if cooling efforts are abandoned (both in the spent fuel pools and reactor cores) and all steam is let off first, but then you have complete meltdowns and a bigger problem underneath the reactor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:20:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do we know that the pools' structure hasn't been damaged so that water leaks out through cracks? Those explosions have been quite spectacular.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do we know that the pools' structure hasn't been damaged so that water leaks out through cracks?

No we don't. (We don't know how far the pool was re-filled, either.) However, we calculated that the No. 4 spent fuel pond heats at least at 2°C/h when not boiling and evaporates at 3.7 tons an hour when boiling, that's 88.8 t per day. The amounts pumped into the No. 4 reactor's spent fuel pool (see here) were 125-150 t at a time, the last time 140 t two days after the previous filling. That is in the right ballpark if you take the re-heating of water cooled by the previous addition into account.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:34:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Jerry Ashmore is misinformed. The Japanese use the concrete pump to pump water into the spent fuel ponds.
?

Initially, the pump from Savannah River Site, and another 70-meter Putzmeister now at a construction site in California, will be used to pump water -- and later will be used to move concrete.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:11:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember somewhere in a link that 11 of these trucks were used in the building of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:55:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The 190,000-pound pump, made by German-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.

One partial antidote to the gravity of the disaster is levity:

Putzmeister means Plaster Master.

(the company has been in Japan since 1964. it holds the world's record for pumping concrete: 601 m high-rise pumping at Burj Dubai)

some photos of the marvel known as western civilization, before the Lehman and Japanese meltdowns.

We now return you to your unbearable gravity.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 07:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to erect a putz like that one.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:51:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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