Safety is prime importance in Hydropower Plants: Deputy PM

Safety in constructing Hydropower Plants and their impact is of prime importance and always a matter of public concern, as is apparent from the recent debate on the construction of the Song Tranh 2, Dong Nai 6 and 6A Hydropower Plants.

 

If the intensity of a reservoir-induced earthquake in the area around the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Quang Nam Province exceeds the acceptable maximum level, operation of the plant must be suspended, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in an interview with the media.

 

Mr. Hai made the statement on the sideline of yesterday’s meeting of the National Assembly while speaking to the media about the safety of the Song Tranh 2 Plant, which is located in Bac Tra My District, where more than 20 quakes have occurred in the past several months.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in an interview with the media

Question: “The Ministry of Industry and Trade has organized several delegations to review the hydropower project, but when it was put into operation, a number of environmental issues and social impact issues occurred in the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant. So can you say that the planning, review, tests were faulty?”

 

Answer: “The plant’s safety must be observed and assessed regularly. If a reservoir-induced quake is stronger than the acceptable maximum level, the plant must be shut down for safety reasons.”

 

As for other projects, even those that have already been built, but cause negative social and environmental impact, concerned agencies must seek solutions for them. In case no solution can be found, such works must also be suspended, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

 

“The lives of people and environment protection must be top priority,” he added.

 

When reporters raised questions on delay of putting into operation the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant, the Deputy PM said that as previously reported, experts have concluded that the series of tremors which hit Bac Tra My in recent days were induced by the reservoir of the plant.

 

After conducting necessary surveys, the Bac Tra My authorities and the Hydropower Project Management Board No. 3 yesterday announced a list of 857 families whose houses had been damaged in the recent quakes.

 

As previously reported, the first earthquake observation station was put into operation at the office of EVN’s Hydropower Project Management Board No. 3 in Bac Tra My about ten days ago.

 

The station records all seismic developments of any reservoir-induced earthquakes, irrespective of how minor they are, in the area.

 

The four other stations will be set up in Tra Bui Commune in the same district, Tra Mai in Nam Tra My District, and Tien Hiep and Tien Ngoc Communes in Tien Phuoc District.

 

Of the quakes that have hit the district, the one that occurred at 9.42pm on October 22 was the strongest, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale.

 

Mr Hai said that the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant has not been in operation as safety must be first concern.

 

Due to the impact of the recent recurring earthquakes and the furor they generated, the managing board of Song Tranh 2 has decided not to accumulate water in the reservoir and continue to monitor the earthquakes, informed the Deputy PM.

 

 

source SGGP, transalted by Dan

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