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Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

Remote-control breakwater in development


SHIZUOKA — Shipbuilder Hitachi Zosen Corp. and its project partners recently unveiled a remote-controlled breakwater designed to rise from the seafloor to counter extreme tides or tsunami.

News photo
Flotation device: A breakwater that deploys by remote control is tested in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. KYODO

Hitachi Zosen, along with Toyo Construction Co. and Penta-Ocean Construction Co., aim to introduce the new device to coastal zones where conventional breakwaters have not been installed due to marine traffic or scenery preservation.

The experimental breakwater, being tested at a port in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, doesn't require closure of floodgates by hand, a practice that resulted in several deaths in the March 11 tsunami, the companies said.

The breakwater, made of steel and with a hollow interior, is laid and locked at the sea bottom with anchors. It is designed to float to the surface on its own when unlocked by remote control.

Having tested the breakwater since February, the firms initially planned to take orders next year but have since opted to keep running tests until March 2013.

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