At the Fukushima reactor in Japan, workers are currently using a Putzmeister M58-5 truck-mounted concrete pump to support the cooling of the damaged cooling pools.
Due to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, some nuclear power plants there have been damaged, posing a threat to human life. It is a very dangerous situation as nuclear radiation can not only affect human life in Japan but can also leak into sea water, reaching other parts of the world.
Among the damaged nuclear power plants, the most damaged is the Fukushima nuclear power plant. To control its nuclear power plants, Japan asked for help from Germany, to supply machines that can help shut down its nuclear power plants; Germany sent Putzmeister concrete machines to Japan for rescue operations. These machines can pump concrete as well as water to control nuclear reactors. They have excellent heights and flexibility, and can reach at all areas of nuclear power plants where ordinary machines cannot reach. These machines have very high pressures and very high capacity to pump concrete and water. They do not require any external power source and are run by the truck engine itself. These huge machines were loaded in special wide-bodied Antonov aircraft and sent to Japan.
Among the Putzmeister machines sent to Japan, the most advanced machine is the Putzmeister M 70. It is the world’s largest working concrete machine. These machines were modified for carrying out the rescue operations at Japan. Video cameras and radio remote controls were fitted on these machines, so that they can be operated from a distance of approximately 2-4 km, as human beings cannot go near these nuclear reactors. They are covered with thick sheets of lead to protect them from radioactive radiations which can damage the electrical and electronic systems of these machines.
At the reactor in Fukushima, workers are currently using an M58-5 truck-mounted concrete pump (produced in Aichtal near Stuttgart) that has a vertical reach of 58 m and a five-arm boom, in order to support the cooling of the damaged cooling pools. The advantage of this system is that cooling water can be fed at a great distance over the destroyed buildings and can be fed to exactly where it is required.
The pump has an output of 160 cu m/h at a pressure of 85 bar and is driven by the truck’s diesel engine; this means that it does not have to rely on any external power supply. The machine is operated using remote control which allows the distributor arm to have flexible movement. The Putzmeister M58-5 that is being used in Fukushima was intended for a customer in South-east Asia and was re-directed to Japan so that it could quickly reach the nuclear power plant.
Putzmeister products have already been used in previous crisis situations. In 1986, a fire-extinguishing kit was offered as a retrofit on truck-mounted concrete pumps. Since then, Putzmeister concrete pumps have continued to prove their effectiveness, even outside of their original purpose, when crises have occurred. In 1986, after the tragic accident at Chernobyl, Putzmeister helped to make reactor Block 4 safe again at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In total, 11 Putzmeister truck-mounted concrete pumps and stationary pumps were used. Putzmeister makes the most technologically advanced concrete machines in the world. Its machines were used to construct the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai.
Putzmeister is a German company with 14 subsidiaries across the globe. Putzmeister has its Indian subsidiary based at Goa with factory at Verna Industrial Estate. Putzmeister Goa also makes India’s largest concrete machine, the M 46, and the smallest concrete machine, SA702D.
For over 50 years, Putzmeister has been building truck-mounted concrete pumps. They are designed for use in the widest range of concrete applications such as the construction of bridges or high-rise buildings. A truck-mounted concrete pump consists of a truck, a supporting device, a piston pump and a boom with four to six-arm hinges. Putzmeister offers booms with vertical reaches between 20 m and 70 m. And with the M70, Putzmeister offers the longest boom that is in use in the world.