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[en] An appeal to the Chinese Leadership by a group of senior engineers, water management experts and academics about the dire consequences of filling the Three Gorges reservoir on the Yangtze River to 175 metres, is reported. Originally, the plan was to keep water levels behind the Three Gorges Dam at 156 metres for the first ten years of operation, in order to allow for resettlement of people displaced by building the dam, and to evaluate the impact of silt deposits on navigation and ports at the upper end of the reservoir. Plans have changed in 1997; the water level is now scheduled to rise to 175 metres in the sixth year of the dam's operation in order to maximize the dam's power output. The appeal by 53 experts warned the Chinese Government that the filling of the reservoir to 175 metres would displace 1.13 million people and raise the water level in the Yangtze River more than 10 metres at Chongqing City, submerging drainage outlets and backing up the city's sewage, as well as increase silt deposits, blocking shipping traffic along the Yangtze River. A parallel is drawn with the Sanmenxia Dam on the Yellow River. It was completed in 1960; it has proven to be useless for controlling floods while producing only one-third of its expected output due to massive silt build-up in the reservoir
[en] The social impact that large-scale hydro-electric development has on the Cree of James Bay following the construction of the La Grande Complex was discussed. Many environmental changes were brought about by dam construction. The project, which also involved the first settlement (the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement) directed at extinguishing aboriginal title to land and natural resources in Canada, resulted in several relocations of Cree communities. In addition to compensation, the Agreement included a formal procedure for environmental and social impact assessment for development projects. However, there was little commitment, as a matter of corporate or government policy, to monitoring any of the social impacts. This paper is a preliminary response to an appeal for attention to be focused on the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the Cree in James Bay. Data from social service files indicate that the rapid centralization of the James Bay Cree into structured communities led to social instability in the villages, reflected by high frequencies in suicide, neglect of children, vandalism and drug and alcohol abuse. The material presented here is expected to serve as a warning that in further developing the far North of Quebec the pace of social change in Cree society will have to be slowed down to avoid social destruction of the native communities. 15 refs., 2 tabs
[en] A proposed alternative to the development of a large-scale hydropower project in Laos was presented. The alternative is intended to help make electricity development sustainable over the long term and to benefit the citizens of Laos. The author carefully analyzed the Asian Development Bank report RRP: Laos 27325 of October 1994. He concluded that as presently constituted, the project is likely to fail as an investment and is likely to result in a significant net financial liability. Water resources are one of Laos' greatest assets and the future uses of Laotian rivers could be lost in order to achieve near-term electricity development. It was suggested that Laos should follow three key principles in the development of its electricity sector: maximize economic efficiency, ensure that the government acts as a regulator and not as an investor, and ensure the protection of property rights of citizens and investors. Relevant aspects of the experience with electricity development in Canada were also outlined
[en] The impact of British Columbia Hydro's operations on the 100 different species and sub-species of fish found in the rivers of BC is discussed. The utility operates 30 hydroelectric facilities and 31 reservoirs in 6 major river basins and 27 watersheds. Three-quarters of the hydroelectricity is produced at major installations on the Peace and Columbia river systems. This booklet describes how, in their water use planning and decision-making, the utility considers impacts on aquatic and terrestrial habitats, flood control, domestic water supply and transport, as well as aesthetic requirements and recreational use. figs
[en] For the past decade, most large-scale hydro development projects in northern Quebec have been put on hold due to land disputes with First Nations. Hydroelectric projects have recently been revived following an agreement signed with Aboriginal communities in the province who recognized the need to find new sources of revenue for future generations. Many Cree are working on the project to harness the waters of the Eastmain River located in the middle of their territory. The work involves building an 890 foot long dam, 30 dikes enclosing a 603 square-km reservoir, a spillway, and a power house with 3 generating units with a total capacity of 480 MW of power for start-up in 2007. The project will require the use of 2,400 workers in total. The Cree Construction and Development Company is working on relations between Quebec's 14,000 Crees and the James Bay Energy Corporation, the subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec which is developing the project. Approximately 10 per cent of the $735-million project has been designated for the environmental component. Inspectors ensure that the project complies fully with environmental protection guidelines. Total development costs for Eastmain-1 are in the order of $2 billion of which $735 million will cover work on site and the remainder will cover generating units, transportation and financial charges. Under the treaty known as the Peace of the Braves, signed in February 2002, the Quebec government and Hydro-Quebec will pay the Cree $70 million annually for 50 years for the right to exploit hydro, mining and forest resources within their territory. The project comes at a time when electricity export volumes to the New England states are down due to growth in Quebec's domestic demand. Hydropower is a renewable and non-polluting source of energy that is one of the most acceptable forms of energy where the Kyoto Protocol is concerned. It was emphasized that large-scale hydro-electric projects are needed to provide sufficient energy to meet both domestic needs and annual exports. 7 figs
[en] When pumps need to deliver large water flow rates (typically more than 5 m3.s−1), concrete volute pumps (CVP) offer an interesting alternative to standard vertical wet-pit pumps. One of the major advantages of CVP is its simplicity in terms of design, manufacturability and maintainability. In addition, CVP geometrical arrangement allows to reach high performances in terms of hydraulic and mechanical behaviour. These advantages can be specifically appreciated when such pumps are used in the energy field for Power Plants which need high flow rate and reliability, and can lead to important financial savings over the Plant lifetime compared to vertical wet-pit pumps. Finally, as CVP was for a long time limited to total head rise lower than 30 mWC, it was established through CFD analysis that the addition of guide vanes between the impeller and the volute allows to achieve higher head rise without risk.
[en] This article describes the development of a reversible single-stage pump turbine for a new power plant with a maximum pump head of roughly 750 m, a specific speed of nq = 34 and a ratio of maximum to minimum head including surge tank fluctuations of 1.57. At this plant the water systems of two existing hydro power plants are connected by means of additional water tunnels. Therefore the plant's water system features an upstream as well as a downstream surge tank. The hydraulic design of the pump turbine focuses on robust and stable operation under consideration of the complex hydrodynamics of the system of power plants while maintaining a very high level of pump and turbine efficiency and maximum operating flexibility. State-of-the-art numerical simulations of the flow behaviour at design and off-design conditions have been applied to predict the hydraulic behaviour during the design phase. These results are compared with experimental data from the model tests. From the agreement between simulation and experiment it is concluded that the application of modern simulation techniques in combination with design experience allows for successful developments also for projects within very challenging hydrodynamic boundary conditions.
[en] A study was conducted in which the cumulative environmental effects of mega-hydroelectric development projects such as the James Bay development in Canada, the Sardar Sarovar development in India and the Three Gorges development in China were examined. The extent of flooding as a result of these projects and of many others around the world was presented. The study showed that several factors are responsible for methyl mercury (MeHg) bioaccumulation in reservoirs. The study also revealed that reservoirs can be a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Boreal forests in particular, when flooded, become a strong source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This results from the fact that after flooding a boreal forest changes from being a small carbon sink to a large source of carbon to the atmosphere, due to stimulated microbial production of CO2 and CH4 by decomposition of plant tissues and peat. This increased decomposition also results in an increase of another microbial activity, namely the methylation of inorganic mercury to the much more toxic MeHg. Selected examples of the downstream effects of altered flows caused by large-scale hydroelectric developments world-wide were summarized. A similar tabulation provided examples of social impacts of relocation of people necessitated by large-scale hydroelectric development. 209 refs., 10 tabs., 3 figs
[en] A rotating and jet experiment system with high flow velocity is designed to study the anti-erosion performance of materials. The resultant velocity of the experiment system is high to 120 m/s. The anti-erosion performance of materials used in needle and nozzle and bucket of Pelton turbine, which is widely used in power station with high head and little discharge, was studied in detail by this experiment system. The experimental studies were carried with different resultant velocities and sediment concentrations. Multiple linear regression analysis method was applied to get the exponents of velocity and sediment concentration. The exponents for different materials are different. The exponents of velocity ranged from 3 to 3.5 for three kinds of material. And the exponents of sediment concentration ranged from 0.97 to 1.03 in this experiment. The SEM analysis on the erosion surface of different materials was also carried. On the erosion condition with high resultant impact velocity, the selective cutting loss of material is the mainly erosion mechanism for metal material.
[en] Free discharge through the units is applied in the course of construction of hydro power plant or in case of excessive water inflow during floods or emergency situation. Free discharges throw the hydro units at 80 m head and more are unknown. Possibility of high velocity swirling flow discharged through the whole hydro unit consisting of penstock, turbine (with Francis runner and distributor or without them) and draft tube is being analyzed in the present paper. Investigation method is based on mathematical simulation of unsteady flow through the hydro unit under the following conditions: with the free running or locked runner and with removed runner. Physical researches of the swirling flow behavior in the model bent penstocks and model turbine water passages have been performed. Based on the results of calculations and model tests the following extensive data have been obtained: pressure fluctuation in the whole hydro unit, fluctuation of hydrodynamic forces acting on guide vanes, torque fluctuation on the runner and discharge fluctuation. Thus, based on this data preferable designs of free discharge are proposed.