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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Water Cannon Robots Arrive at Fukushima Dai 1

The Cooling Fight at Fukushima Dai 1 continues. Personnel from Japan's Self-Defense Forces, the Tokyo Fire Department, and other agencies are spraying water on the plant's No.3 and 4 reactors, which lost the ability to cool storage pools containing spent nuclear fuel rods.

Water Cannon Robot from Australia
NHK reports that a remote-controlled high-powered water cannon truck has arrived from Australia at  Yokota Air Base on Tuesday following a request by the United States. The water cannon robot can shoot 150 liters of water per second at a target 150 meters away. It can also operate unmanned for 2 to 3 days while pumping seawater. The robot, owned by US contractor Bechtel Corporation, the largest engineering company in the United States, was being flown from Perth by an RAAF Hercules transport. The robot sprayer will probably be put to work in the reactor building in the most dangerous condition, No 4. The robot will enable them to remotely see the damaged pool for the first time and put water into it with precision.

62 Meter Concrete Pump from China

Credit: Sany Group
Chinese Sany Group, the world’s largest concrete machinery manufacturer and among the top 50 global construction machinery manufacturers, has announced the shipment of its 62 meter concrete pump to Fukushima free of charge to help Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEP) fight against the current crises. The equipment has left Sany head quarter in Changsha and is now heading towards Shanghai. It is estimated that the concrete pump will arrive in Japan on next Wednesday. According to Guinness World Records Sany boasts the longest boom for a truck-mounted concrete pump: 71.535 meters.

According to IEEE Spectrum the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told a congressional committee on Thursday, that building No. 4's storage pool had lost all its water, leaving its spent fuel exposed to the air. On Friday the Los Angeles Times reported that the No. 4 pool had either been cracked or breached during the earthquake, causing water to drain away. However, TEPCO officials have contradicted these statements.

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