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Putzmeister concrete pump helps cool Japan plant

by Ben Roberts on Mar 31, 2011

The regular use for the pump.
The regular use for the pump.

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A concrete pump from German manufacturer Putzmeister is helping to cool the nuclear reactor in Fukushima that was damaged in the country’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Workers are currently using an M58-5 truck-mounted concrete pump that has a 58-metre vertical reach and a 5-arm boom to spray water on the damaged cooling pools – one of the most innovative ideas in the battle to prevent the spread of radiation off Japan’s north-east coast.

The remote-controlled machine is more typically used for high-rise concreting through a truck mixer. The pump has an output of 160m3/h at a pressure of 85-bar and is driven by the truck's diesel engine.


The pump was off the coast of Tokyo at the time of the earthquake on 11th March, according to media reports, and the head of the Japan branch faced a challenge in being able to get it to the site of the reactor.

"I contacted the prime minister's office with information about our equipment last Tuesday, but there was no response for about two days," Hiroshi Suzuki told Reuters. "They may have thought they could manage with their water trucks and fire trucks."

Eventually he was ordered by the prime minister, Naoto Kan, to bring the pump onshore and help battle the fallout at the plant, which is still in critical condition despite a statement from the country’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that it doubts there is a crack in the pressure vessel or containment vessel at the No. 3 reactor.

Sany Heavy Industry, the Chinese manufacturer, has also supplied a 62-metre SY5502THB truck mounted concrete pump to help cool reactor No. 4.