Two of the most populous nations—China and India—are building hundreds of dams in a violently active geologic zone.
Projects are strong enough to withstand a rare “thousand year” earthquake, say China Three Gorges Corporation officials: “no need to worry”. Experts beg to differ.
(January 7, 2014) China’s growing involvement in hydropower development in the region boosts clout but also leads to allegations of poor corporate responsibility. “There is great resistance to dam-building in Latin America and special worry about Chinese dams because of the opaque nature of China’s decision-making and poor quality in these dams,” says Pat Adams of Probe International.
(August 31, 2011) Financial rewards for bypassing dam safety procedures have
created an unrestrained dam-building boom in China that is threatening lives and the
(August 26, 2011) China’s precarious dam reality has moved out into the open.
(August 24, 2011) One of China’s premier investigative news agencies reveals China’s dams “are like ticking time bombs:” beset by disaster, flaws, poor construction, neglect, and fraud.
(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.
(June 19, 2009) China Daily blames the problem on shoddy construction, unqualified workers and embezzled public funds. Now that the flood season is right around the corner the authorities call for maximum alert to prevent collapses.