Friday, March 18, 2011

More gadgets for Fukushima

Might disaster be avoided?


I can't find data on the height of the spent fuel pond, but it appears to be less than 50 meters above the ground.  Google Earth indicates that the original reactor buildings were 80 meters high. There are a few fire-fighting vehicles which can reach that high. Once positioned and aimed, the crew could abandon the vehicle, leaving it to deliver water to the spent fuel pond. If it could be connected to the  Hytrans water supply system which I mentioned in my last post, then a continuous stream of water could be delivered to the spent fuel pond indefinitely. Set up time for these systems is of the order of minutes rather than hours.

The HLA from Finnish firm Bronto Skylift can deliver 3800 litres per minute (228 tonnes per hour) of water to over 100 meters above ground level. It also has substantial horizontal reach, allowing it to poke into the reactor building to reach the fuel pond. The pictures show it in operation.

I think this might just work, but the setup time will expose the crew to a substantial radiation dose.


The M93 Fox is a vehicle used by the military to map areas affected by radioactive fallout and chemical contamination. If the worst happens in Japan, these vehicles and their crews will be in demand to map contaminated areas. The US military has a number of these vehicles.


This is normally used to carry soldiers on the battlefield. They are equipped with ventilation systems which can filter out radioactive particles and protect the troops inside. Thick steel armor also shields the occupants from radiation. Bradleys could be used to transport people through contaminated areas.


This large, high flying unmanned airplane can keep the reactors under surveillance and warn of any changes. It has infra-red cameras which would be ideal for detecting fires and hot spots.

UPDATE: Saturday:  The Japanese appear to be thinking along similar lines.  the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reports that they are sending some fire trucks and a hose laying system from Tokyo. Quote:
One large ladder truck is capable of spraying water from about 40 meters above the ground, while an elevating squirt truck can blast 3.8 tons of water per minute from a height of 22 meters by remote control, the fire department said. These high positions will allow water to be sprayed onto the storage pool, which is in the upper part of the reactor building. Other vehicles include a hose layer to extend hose lines. A hose layer carries 72 hoses, which can be connected to "Super Pumper" trucks to build a long-distance pumping system. The system is designed so water can be pumped from the sea or a river as much as two kilometers away to maintain a constant supply to the engines, according to the fire department.

The Fire Engine Photos website has a picture of one of the "Super Pumper" hose laying systems here. It belongs to the elite "Hyper Rescue" squad.

1 comment:

  1. Liked the AERIAL WATER TOWER because it is useful in all the sectors. These kind of gadgets should be encouraged.