Doppstadt Solutions for Japan/Fukushima: Skimming Radioactive Soil

Since the nuclear incident in Fukushima on 11th March 2011, many areas of cultivable land are contaminated with radiation or covered by a thick salt layer. In order to use the land again for agriculture, a certain layer must be removed. In search of a capable environmental enterprise, the Japanese government came across the Doppstadt Company.

The Japanese government ordered to skim the affected surfaces by five centimeters. This should reduce the radioactivity or remove the salt so that a non-hazardous use of the area for agriculture would become possible. The storage capacities for the skimmed soil of the whole were very limited, and due to the large dimensions of the contaminated areas, every unnecessary millimeter that was removed required an enormous need for storage capacities. Therefore, it was necessary to skim the soil as precisely as possible, thus exactly in five centimeters depth. This is nearly impossible with usual construction machinery.

In order to meet the challenge, the Doppstadt company chose an unusual way: They used the cleaning machine “Puma 2400“, which is actually designed for filter basin cleaning in the water treatment. The advantage of the machine: Even in case of uneven surfaces it removes the surface exactly in the required depth thanks to the sensors mounted at the feed table. They scan the surface and hold the feeding unit in the required removal depth at +/- two millimeter precision thus reducing the removal of excess material. The machine was particularly adapted to the special task in Japan. The Doppstadt experts made sure to use parts and components of renowned manufacturers and also Doppstadt standard components, in order to ensure a quick and worldwide spare part supply. Meanwhile, eight Puma 2400 machines and nine Puma 2400 eco machines, the successor of the Puma 2400, are in operation in Fukushima and they are supporting Japan in the recovery of their agricultural areas.

Karsten König, construction department, USG Umweltservice GmbH & Co. KG: “We are glad that we are able to help the agriculture in Fukushima with our technical know-how to resume its activity step by step.“

Photo: Doppstadt