(May 19, 2011) Amid power shortages and potential catastrophe, China admits to failings in the Three Gorges Dam. Probe International Fellow Dai Qing responds from Beijing.
The Three Gorges Dam’s new normal: failure
(May 18, 2011) China’s drought has caused the Three Gorges reservoir level to drop precipitously, crippling the mighty Three Gorges Dam. Shipping on the Yangtze River has now halted, power generation has been compromised, and geological hazards are heightened.
China acknowledges downside to Three Gorges Dam
(May 18, 2011) The government of China has issued a rare acknowledgment of the issues dogging the country’s massive Three Gorges Dam project. Longtime dam critic and Probe International Fellow Dai Qing calls out the move as a likely “attempt to shirk responsibility”.
Detained artist a further blow for China quake parents
(May 12, 2011) Chinese farmer Liu Jiuchuan is perhaps an unlikely supporter of activist and artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention last month on suspicion of economic crimes sparked uproar around the world.
China to uproot 240,000 from disaster-prone areas
(May 7, 2011) Authorities plan to move nearly a quarter of a million people this year from disaster-prone areas in northern China into newly-built homes, state media reported Saturday.
(May 3, 2011) Onlookers in Beijing, China, keep a safe distance from a giant sinkhole that opened in the middle of a busy street last Tuesday, swallowing a truck. Several news reports say the sinkhole formed above a tunnel being dug for construction of a subway line. (See pictures of a huge sinkhole in Guatemala City.)
Anatomy of a dam failure
(April 27, 2011) In the world of engineering, standards are the foundation on which everything else rests. An investigation following a catastrophic explosion at Russia’s largest hydropower station in the summer of 2009 revealed poor management and technical flaws to be at the root of the dam’s failure. A repaired turbine almost at the end of its life span, taken offline again because it still didn’t work, was forced back into service in an emergency: a move that would cost 75 people their lives. This Popular Mechanics investigation asks whether the United States, a country with hundreds of hydro plants in operation, might also be at risk of a Russian-style dam disaster. U.S. experts say not likely: the two countries are separated philosophically when it comes to safety and human life.
Rush to Build Hydropower Poses Risks
(April 19, 2011) Experts warn of the dangers posed by China’s rush to build dams in seismically active areas.
China regions face power shortage even before summer peak
(April 18, 2011) Reuters is reporting that China will face power shortages due to coal shortages, and low water levels in hydrodams.
Dai Qing: On The Completion of the Three Gorges Project
(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.
Dams are worse
While many believe that nuclear is the most dangerous source of electricity, the designation actually belongs to major hydroelectric dams.
China Three Gorges Hydropower Project Proceeds as Planned After Protests
(April 1, 2011) It is business as usual for the China Three Gorges Corporation, operator of the world’s largest dam and builder of the Xiangjiaba hydropower project in southwestern China, after 2,000 protesters were dispersed by 1,500 riot police.
Thousands of Chinese citizens protest forced resettlement by hydro dam, clash with police
(March 31, 2011) Thousands of Chinese residents displaced by the Xiangjiaba hydrodam protest China’s resettlement policies.
Public asked to report earthquake omens
(March 30, 2011) According to China Daily, the Chinese government is proposing new emergency preparedness measures which would encourage citizens to report signs of imminent earthquakes to officials, but forbid people from publicly predicting them.
Citizens’ group expresses concern over building dams in seismically active areas of India
(March 29, 2011) The North East People’s Alliance, a group composed of activists and NGOs in North East India, is calling for a halt to large hydro dams, which they fear will trigger further seismic activity in the area.