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World's largest concrete pumps fly to Japan

Erik S. Lesser / AFP - Getty Images

A Putzmeister concrete pumper is loaded onto a Russian Antonov AN-124 cargo airplane at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport on April 8, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Two of the world's largest concrete pumps were loaded onto Russian cargo jets at American airports headed for Japan.  The Putzmeister America pumps have been retrofitted to to pour water on a Japanese nuclear power plant stricken by an earthquake and tsunami. 

Erik S. Lesser / AFP - Getty Images

The 95-ton pumper will be delivered to Japan to assist in the cooling down efforts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

AP says: The 190,000-pound pump designed by Wisconsin-based Putzmeister America Inc. comes mounted on a 26-wheel truck. Its extendable boom can reach more than 200 feet, and can be operated two miles away by remote control, making it possible to shoot water into hard-to-reach places at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

If necessary, the pump could also entomb a damaged nuclear reactor in concrete. After a 1986 disaster, Putzmeister sent 11 pumps to pour concrete over parts of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.

Nick Ut / AP

Another Putzmeister is loaded onto a Russian Antonov An-124 cargo jet at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday.

Moving such a large pump required hiring a Russian Antonov AN-124 cargo jet, one of the world's largest. After landing in Atlanta, the towering plane taxied to a stop near the truck. The plane's nose lifted, revealing a ramp that extended as if the aircraft had stuck out a green, metal tongue.

Once the ramp was fully constructed, a driver steered the pump truck into the plane.

That pump and another picked up at Los Angeles International Airport are scheduled to depart Saturday. Putzmeister America's parent company in Germany has already sent a smaller pump and plans to send another.

The Japanese utility is picking up the cost of shipping the pumps to the region.

Read the latest news from Japan here.  See a slideshow of images from Japan here.