Concrete Pump lands in Japan
A 190,000-pound concrete pump formerly deployed at Savannah River Site arrived safely in Tokyo late Monday and was escorted to Chiba, Japan, where engineers were being trained to use the device at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.
The pump, made by German-based Putzmeister, is the largest device of its kind in the world and was in use by Augusta-based Ashmore Concrete Contractors at the construction site of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s mixed-oxide fuel plant in South Carolina.
The device was airlifted from Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta aboard a mammoth Antonov cargo plane, which made refueling stops in Seattle, Anchorage and Magadan, Russia, before arriving in Tokyo, said Kelly Blickle, a spokeswoman at Putzmeister America’s office in Wisconsin.
“It just arrived, late last night,” she said. “Because it was such a heavy load, the plane had to refuel about every five hours.”
A similar pump operated by Associated Concrete Pumping of Sacramento, Calif., also was flown to Japan, and both were moved from the airport to Putzmeister’s office in Chiba, where Tokyo Electric Power Company workers are being trained to use them.
The pumps are normally used to pour concrete on bridges and high-rise buildings and can also be used to pump water. Several smaller Putzmeister concrete pumps are already at Fukushima.
Company officials were unsure when the large pumps would be moved to the damaged reactors.