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Concrete pump to help in Japan nuclear crisis (like the one used at Chernobyl)

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 06:40 PM
Original message
Concrete pump to help in Japan nuclear crisis (like the one used at Chernobyl)
Edited on Thu Mar-31-11 07:04 PM by onehandle
Source: AP/ABC News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say the world's largest concrete pump will be flown from Atlanta to Japan on the world's largest cargo plane as part of a series of emergency steps to help stabilize damaged nuclear reactors.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the 190,000-pound pump features a 70-meter boom which can be remotely controlled. Officials say that makes it suitable for use in the highly radioactive environment surrounding the nuclear plants.

The pump was manufactured by Germany-based Putzmeister, whose equipment was used at Chernobyl in the 1980s to entomb the melted core of the reactor in concrete.

The pump had been used at the Savannah River Site near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Read more: http://www.abcnews4.com/Global/story.asp?S=14360068



It's over. Bury the site. (Yes, once it is stabilized).

Although I am largely pro-nuclear power, it was clear to me that this was over almost right after the tsunami.

Building six nukes in a coastal region on the ring of fire? That's where my 'largely' status goes awry.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's Too Hot to Bury
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. They make some rather large and odd looking machines in Germany....
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. YOU CAN'T BURY IT WHY THE HELL DO ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACKS KEEP SAYING THIS
Come on.

Do you WANT it to melt down? Yes indeed, let's put a nice thermal blanket of concrete around the whole thing, and stop trying to pump coolant through it. THAT WILL CERTAINLY KEEP IT FROM A *FULL* MELTDOWN.

(An aside, I do suggest that 'entombing' the bottom story of reactor 2 might limit the uncontrolled releases of radiation from the damaged suppression pool, BUT that may interfere with cooling operations, so it may not be acceptable)
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Leave it to the experts
They know how to bury it without any further problems, assuming of course that another earthquake doesn't rip it all wide open. In which case, the fission inhibiting concrete and boric acid mixture will also assist with containment.
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. I don't think you have the faintest idea of how nuclear energy works.
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godai Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. And you?
Seems very logical that you can't simply bury the reactors.
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yeah actually it's a really good idea.
The issue with covering the reactor in concrete is that it will make removal and decontamination difficult in the future.

But if you pour concrete doped with neutron absorbant material into the reactor vessel, you can not only contain the nuclear fuel, you are creating barriers between the individual fuel assemblies (assuming they aren't all morphed together). This lowers the risk of criticality as there is no space for neutron moderators like water and it will keep the fuel from bending or breaking. When you leave the fuel exposed, you are allowing it to move freely in such a way that a portion of the fuel will eventually gain enough mass in the correct density that you may have a criticality accident. Especially if standing water is present.

I don't believe they have the coolant pumps operating at this point. They are able to pump water out and pump salt water in at varying amounts with jerry-rigged equipment.



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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. That's nice, but the person I am responding to didn't say that.
Burying it is not an option for quite some time due to the residual heat.

They do have aux pumping equipment to get water into and out of the cores. They are also using fresh water now, to reduce the negative side effects of using sea water, which leaves sodium and other deposits on the core itself, which actually inhibits cooling.

The pumping truck, in the official press releases and announced plans, is for pumping water, particularly into the storage pools that cannot be reached safely by humans right now.
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I have been persuaded there have been criticality incidents already...
Edited on Thu Mar-31-11 11:27 PM by WheelWalker
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axollot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. Spent fuel rods have been exposed since the beginning -
They will have to build a sarcophagus at some point and it keeps getting more and more dangerous. A great link to gain perspective...

http://www.fairewinds.com/updates

Cheers
Sandy
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. At some point, yes.
For now, their intent is to fill those storage pools with water, because their efforts with hoses and such, have been limited/failure. A concrete pumper is an excellent tool for that, and this particular one has a very flexible, and long remote controlled arm.

We're probably a month or more away from any attempt at entombment.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. Enough with the CAPS Mr. Wizard.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. o no, did I offend you?
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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. The press release from the company says it is for pumping water.

Useful because it is truck-mounted, runs on its own power.
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LawnKorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. IT'S A PUTZ!
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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Entomb? Cement pumps flown in to nuke plant
Source: MSNBC

TOKYO Some of the world's largest cement pumps were en route to Japan's stricken nuclear plant on Thursday, initially to help douse areas with water but eventually for cement work including the possibility of entombing the site as was done in Chernobyl.

Operated via remote control, one of the truck-mounted pumps was already at the Fukushima Dai-ichi site and being used to spray water. Four more will be flown in from Germany and the United States, according to the German-manufacturer Putzmeister. The biggest of the five has an arm that extends well over 200 feet.

"Initially, they will probably pump water," Putzmeister stated. "Later they will be used for any necessary concreting work."

A construction company in Augusta, Ga., was among those redirecting the pumps to Japan. Its owner said he believes building a concrete sarcophagus will follow.



Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42359020/ns/world_news-asia... /



I think we all knew this step was coming. Yes?
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. He did not expect the pump to return. "It will be too hot to come back," Ashmore said.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. At some point, yes.
Seems a bit early for that, but as a water pumper, it's a supreme piece of equipment, so it will help address any fuel storage pools that aren't fully filled.

Can also probably be used to assist with the damaged containment on #2. You could entomb the lower floors with concrete while retaining access to the water circ pipes, and the removable top, for later fuel removal.

Probably the only credible option to stop #2 from leaking these enormous amounts of radiation that make it difficult for work crews to do anything to the reactor.
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axollot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. Not only is the pools not filled - pictures of reactor number 4
clearly show the pool to be FUBARed. View video at http://www.fairewinds.com/updates you'll see this is much worse than the press and TEPCO especially, have been letting on.

Cheers
Sandy
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Not good.
Between the suppression pool on #2 and the storage pool on #4, this is very, very bad.

Hopefully the storage pool for #4 will still hold water, and the failures to fill it are a flow rate issue, where the water is boiling and steaming off faster than they can fill it, rather than streaming out holes at the bottom of the pool. If that's the case, the larger pumper being delivered from Atlanta may be able to overwhelm it. Otherwise, they're just going to have a lot more radioactive water in the basements to deal with.
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. Putzmeister?
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. It's the company that manufactures these machines.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. It's for cooling. They're not using it for concrete, but water. They're got a long boom is why
they're useful.



A 60m long pump of the German concrete pump manufacturer Putzmeister is brought to an Antonov 124 plane of the Volga-Dnepr airlines at the airport in Stuttgart, Germany, 31 March 2011. The pump is being flown to Japan to help in the cooling of the damaged reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. EPA/MARIJAN MURAT

The pumps, by German manufacturer Putzmeister, will be used to spray water on the reactors from a height of up to 70 metres.


http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/arti...
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. I do believe they intend to entomb it, then let it melt down to the water table
which I've been told is quite near the surface, then let it blow up into the ocean where it will do the least damage to humans. I've been told there are some really really hot radiation sources in the SF bay. Here's a link:

http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~nuclear/preview/nodes/envi...

What are nuclear fuel rods surrounded by? Water. Probably the best place for all of that radioactive shit is under water. Too bad for the fish, however. That's not going to be a nice place for any underwater creature for many many years to come.

I'm basing my theory on a guess, but I just can't think of anything else they could possibly be planning. If the water table is indeed that high in Fukushima, there's no way they can tunnel under the reactors to pour concrete as was done at Chernobyl.
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axollot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. About time they start a contingency plan! Check out this link
For intelligent and plain language updates

http://www.fairewinds.com/updates

Cheers
Sandy
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