Je ne vais pas reprendre toute l'histoire mais en ce moment vous devez surement voir les images du succès pour la nouvelle pompe et les raccordements pour la centrale 4. La femme (non japonaise, d'où l'anglais) du CEO de Putzmeister Japan nous raconte les coulisses tout en cherchant un soutien moral pendant que son mari a été forcé d'aller dans une zone à risque.

DH=Dear Husband= Mon mari
SDF=Self Defense Force=Armée japonaise

le 21 mars

since last Thursday night, the nuclear power plant dramas suddenly became very personal for my family when my husband was summonded to the Prime Ministers office. I don't know why I am writing this here, I'm just beside myself with worry so I suppose it's a place to vent.

DH is the CEO of Putzmeister Japan (PMJ), a Germany foreign affilate in Japan that manufactuers and supplies concrete pumps to construction companies across the nation. Putzmeister pumps are much larger than Japanese pumps. Normally they pump wet cement but for this disaster, they will pump sea water directly in reactor 4.

Right from the beginning of this disaster, PMJ and major construction companies that use their pumps were contacting the government because they knew these pumps could help cool the reactors more efficiently and more safely than what TEPCO was currently doing. At first, their calls were not even taken! Then suddenly DH was called by one of the law makers on Thursday night and the ball began to roll.

Toujours la lenteur de réaction et l'incapacité à improviser et faire preuve de spontanéité des japonais.

The pump that will work on reactor 4 today from 4pm will be operated by SDF, although TEPCO asked DH to send his staff in to do the job - he refused because they could not give him enough information about the risks. This pump was actually destined to be used by a customer of Putzmeister Hanoi, it was transiting in Yokohama and DH negotiated its released and got special permission from the government to use it in Japan. It's size of 58meteres is prohibited in Japan, but an exception was made because this is a national emergency.

DH and 3 of his staff departed Yokohama port Saturday lunch, after all sorts of checks on the pump, tyre changes (even though it's new) but did not arrive in Onahama, Fukushima until Sunday morning - that in itself is another story.

Training of SDF took place yesterday and they will depart Onahama at noon today and start work at reactor 4 at 4pm.

DH and his team have to stand by in Onahama (50kms from plant) in their truck incase their expertise is needed. They had food until yesterday but it ran out and TEPCO is too busy dealing with this crisis to look after them. Local residents, who are so greatful that civilians have risked their lives to come and help them, shared their emergency rations with DH and his staff.

I'm paniced by the unknown risks he is exposing himself to but he is not concerned. DH is just worried about the success of this operation. If it fails it will all be on him and the pressure is immense.

I can't imagine how nervous the wives of SDF and fire brigade workers must be as they watch their husbands fight this disaster at the site. DH is 50kms away and I'm racked with panic.

The press has been calling DH constantly but he's too busy to talk to them. News of the 58m pump has been in several news reports but no doubt once this starts at 4pm it will be on NHK and foreign news media as well. For me, I am proud that DH and his team have put the needs of their nation before their own wellbeing.

Keep your fingers crossed that they are successful.

 

Not a lot to report tonight.

Once the truck/pump left for the power plant at just before 2pm, all info coming back to DH from TEPCO stopped. They did provide he and his team with some food and let them shelter in the waiting room instead of their truck! DH says he thinks it must have gone according to plan, or at least there weren't any problems, or he would have heard from them.

DH did learn that the guys they trained were not SDF as they had been led to believe but rather local subcontracters of TEPCO. These guys learned really quickly and should have no trouble operating the pump.

I noticed on CNN this afternoon, one reporter mentioned a concrete truck had been bought in to spray concrete into reactor 4. This is typical of how the media get it wrong. They had obviously seen Putzmeister on the news and knew of how Putzmesiter used concrete at Chernobyl and just made the rest up.

The Japanese media got frustrated trying to get an interview with DH and improvised. They contacted one of DH's customers, went and interviewed them in front of a Putzmeister truck and portrayed that as the truck that is being used. It wasn't and it's not even the same type of truck or pump.

At 6:30pm, DH and his team decided to drive back to Tokyo tonight so at least they can see their families, sleep in a bed and have a proper meal. Not sure if they will have to return tomorrow.

I have to go to work tomorrow so I will update when I can. Hope you are all safe and well and getting back to some kind of normal life.

Et la question que tout le monde se pose

"I can only reiterate other's praises of your husbands courage.

All along I have been wondering WHY DIDN"T THEY START THIS EARLIER??? I had been thinking there must be some sort huge pump used in construction of high rises.

I think this really shows both the good and the bad points of Japanese society. The courage and ganbaru spirit, a sense of community, the sheer orderliness of the Japanese has been much commented on. But the inability to improvise (or 'wing it' as Americans say) and to move outside the manual is something we lifers but our head against all the time. (Ever try to order off the menu?) In an temergency, pre-set protocols are important but man, if there was ever an emergency that wasn't planned for, it is this one!"

" there was also a Youtube video questioning why Tepco wasn't accepting the many offers of the gigantic robotic arm crate; the next day after we watched that video, the news announced they began using it.

To J. and others who have family in the midst of the reactor, we are in awe of you and your sacrifices."

Le 22 mars

DH called me just before 5pm to tell me it was successful but he's in meetings with TEPCO now so I don't have any more details.

I was disappointed to read on NHK (and see video) that one of PMJs customers from Mie was credited with doing the job, when although they were consulted, their pump is not long enough and was not used.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20110322/t10014831771000.html

In any case, the outcome (and not who gets credit) is what is most important:-)

 

Feel a bit sorry for DH actually, he's coping it from all directions at the moment because NHK gave credit to the customer in Mie. And the guy in Mie had the nerve to yell at DH and accuse him of "stealing" the job!

It seems TEPCO contacted several Putzmeister customers and asked them to come to the plant, telling them their pumps were needed. But the truth was that, at 52 meters, they could not have been used anyway, so these poor people came from all over the place only to sit and wait for nothing. One customer, who shall remain nameless, actually sent his own son and told him he must go and operate the pump himself "for the good of the nation"....I really have to wonder about the motive behind this.

There are other things that have happened over the past few days that have really shocked me, and without going into all the sordid details, let's just say, politics is a nasty, sordid business where lying seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

Anyway, at least headquarters in Germany is happy with what DH has done and the pump is working perfectly.....yeah!!! Now he just has to organize a permanent team to keep the damned thing running smoothly as this will take many months apparently.

DH wont be back til tomorrow but I think I'm gonna sleep a lot better tonight.

C'est clair qu'ils ont pas l'air dégourdis chez TEPCO. Soit disant les dirigeants ne sont pas du tout qualifiés pour le job mais la faute à qui? Ici on peut faire des études en histoire de l'art pour ensuite travailler en tant que comptable dans une boite.