The AP reports that two gigantic concrete pumps, the largest equipment of this type in the world, will be air-lifted to Japan to help pour water on damaged reactors at Fukushima.
The machines are designed to spray concrete for new skyscrapers, bridges and similarly large-scale construction projects, but they're being modified to spray water for this use.
"But if a decision is made to encase a reactor in concrete -- similar to a method used in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- the machines would be capable of doing that as well," explained an executive from the company that made them.
They'll be carried over on an Antonov 225, the world's heaviest aircraft.
The company, and the devices: "Putzmeister." Yes, that's right. Giant, phallic-shaped pumps that spew liquid all over hot cores. They're huge. They're PUTZMEISTERS.
Read the full story here. (via Paul Saffo)
Update: So, one of Putzmeister's biggest competitors is a company called SCHWING (thanks, V). Did Austin Powers write this script or what, people?
One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows' diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane […]
On Slate Star Codex (previously), Scott Alexander breaks down Invisible Designers: Brain Evolution Through the Lens of Parasite Manipulation, Marco Del Giudice's Quarterly Review of Biology paper that examines the measures that parasites take to influence their hosts' behaviors, and the countermeasures that hosts evolve to combat them.
NASA announced today that the agency is moving ahead with a planned mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. In this next phase, engineers will complete the final design, construction, and testing of the Europa Clipper spacecraft for a launch as soon as 2023. Why the icy moon Europa? From NASA: NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will conduct […]
If you’re marketing on the web, your Google-fu needs to be strong – and up to date. Without a firm grasp on what drives traffic, you’ll never be able to take the wheel. That’s why even if you know where to put your keywords, a little extra effort goes a long way on any marketer’s […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]