LOS ANGELES, April 9 (Xinhua) -- To help contain the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a giant concrete pump was shipped to Japan from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Saturday, authorities said.
The 190,000-pound rig, one the biggest of its kind, was loaded onto a Russian Antonov An-124, airport officials said.
The pump with a boom that can reach up to 225 feet can be operated by remote control from two miles (3.2 kilometers) away, allowing it to shoot water into the damaged reactors.
The rig is one of the two built by the German company Putzmeister that are being shipped to Japan. The other is being shipped from Atlanta.
The company's Mary Roberts said the pumps are normally used to pour concrete for bridges and high-rise construction projects, but can be used "to directly target hotspots within the reactors" and help with cooling.
Another Putzmeister concrete pump was used to encase the reactor at Chernobyl after the 1986 disaster.
At the ruined nuclear plant in northern Japan, a similar pump was used to cool the spent-fuel-rod pool at Fukushima Daiichi.
The stricken plant is believed to have suffered a partial meltdown of its nuclear fuel after desperate attempts to cool the reactors failed.
Dave Adams, CEO of Putzmeister America, the Wisconsin-based company which manufactures the pump, said: "Our whole company fells hopeful that our equipment can be used to make a difference in helping solve the problem."
Japanese authorities have struggled to cool the plant's reactors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out its backup cooling systems.