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Siberian dam could face second disaster

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Siberian dam could face second disaster


Russia’s largest hydro-electric plant where 75 people were killed in a disaster last year is facing a second possible catastrophe. The wintry conditions have led to a huge iceberg forming at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam in Siberia.

The ice mass is 22 metres thick and weighs about 25 thousand tones. It has formed because water has been allowed to flow out of the reservoir via a spillway which has never been used before in winter. Mist thrown up has been freezing, causing a thick layer of ice to form.

As well as killing so many people, the explosion at the plant in August last year damaged the turbines through which water usually passes. It forced engineers to use the spillway to ease pressure on the dam itself.

It is thought the ice now building up could cause parts of the power plant to collapse. The critical point is expected to come in another two or three weeks if the freezing temperatures continue.

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