Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sayano-Shushenskaya Disaster

Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Dam is located on the Yennessee River in the Sayano mountain range in south central Siberia, perhaps 50 kilometers south of Abakan where Tanya's family live. It is the scene of a horrendous accident which has left 12 people confirmed dead. There is little hope for survival for another 64 more who were trapped in the turbine room when two water tunnels broke and flooded the area.

Downstream there is concern that the dam might give way however authorities say that this is impossible. The exact cause of the collapse of the water tunnels is not confirmed but has nothing to do with the structural soundenss of the dam.


Tanya called her sister this morning who said some people are moving to higher ground but this was likely just an intital reaction. She did say that all the bread immediately disappeared from the shops as people feared that lack of electricity would close the bakeries, however that is also back to normal.
I visited the dam when I was in Khakasia in 2006 so it has more meaning to me than just a news item.

11 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear the dreadful news. Sounds like family is OK, so that's good.

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  2. I heard a transformer blew up. That must have been one hell of a large transformer.

    Hope all the family are safe.

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  3. Oh, dear. Those poor people.

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  4. There is an update at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8206998.stm
    They say that it blew during repair work. All is well downstream, other than the oil slick. We'll call Lyuda again to morrow morning.

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  5. I googled mere info about this. Two workers were rescued from below the turbine hall but no others are expected to be found alive. This is the largest plant in Russia (6400MW) and 5th largest hydro plant in the world. The tranformers for generators that size would be huge. An oil-filled transformer with an internal electrical fault would generate explosive gasses and a massive explosion.

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  6. A later report said the water lines may have broken first before the transformer exploded.

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  7. When humans are in charge of anything, there's gonna be danger involved somewhere down the line. The older I get, the odder I get, and I'm started to get VERY odd where trying to control nature is involved.

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  8. The BBC was reporting last night that they think it may have been one of the turbines breaking apart. Sadly the death toll is going up.

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  9. The oil slick killed all the trout in a big fish farm downstream, which I had visited. BBC says they are trying to contain and mop it up.
    Also repair cost is now reconned at well over $10 billion which will essentially replace the entire power station with all new equipment and raise output to 7300 MW

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