by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 4, 2012
The giant and controversial Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River started Wednesday working at full capacity as the last of its 32 generators went into operation, state news agency Xinhua said.
"The full operation of the generators makes the Three Gorges Dam the world's largest hydropower project and largest base of clean energy," said Zhang Cheng, general manager of China Yangtze Power, the operator of the generators.
The dam, which first went into operation in 2003 at a cost of $22.5 billion, has a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts (22,500 megawatts), the equivalent of fifteen nuclear reactors.
The construction of the dam, which forced the relocation of 1.4 million people, has been heavily criticised by experts worldwide, and residents of nearby areas.
Beijing has long held up the dam as a symbol of its engineering prowess, a solution to the frequent floods of China's longest river and a source of badly-needed electricity.
But in May last year Beijing admitted the dam had spawned a range of problems.
The project began in 1993 despite warnings the weight of the reservoir would dangerously alter central China's geology, uproot millions of people, poison water supplies by trapping pollution and disrupt the Yangtze watershed.
Located in Hubei province, the dam has created a reservoir stretching up to 600 kilometres (370 miles) through the scenic Three Gorges region, which is criss-crossed by geological faultlines.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
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Over 150 natives occupy Amazon dam construction site
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) June 26, 2012
More than 150 indigenous people are occupying one of the construction sites for the huge Belo Monte hydro-electric dam across the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon, a local spokesman said Tuesday. "They have for the past five days been occupying the Pimentel site where the river has already dried up and they are awaiting the arrival (Thursday) of the head of the Norte Energia consortium in ... read more
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