Engineers: Safety of Three Gorges Dam Follows Int'l Levels 

The water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 135 meters on Tuesday. With the completion of the water storage target, the gap of the water level inside and outside the dam is as high as 70 meters, and a reservoir with a storage capacity of tens of billions cubic meters has been formed on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The huge river fall and storage capacity pressure have raised concern about the safety of the dam, as it relates to the security of the lives and property of several hundred million people living in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Chief engineer with the China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Development Co., Zhang Chaoran thinks the water storage won't affect the safety of the dam.

He explains the dam was designed according to the highest standards. He says the design is based on the strength of flood resistance and the Three Gorges Dam is designed to resist the kind of torrential flood that only occurs very rarely. He adds that at present, design and construction of the dam should be of international standard.

The chief engineer says from the beginning, a system has been in place to ensure the quality of the project. About one thousand quality supervisors have worked at the frontline and conducted strict supervision on every aspect of the project. The State Council has also sent respected water conservancy experts to inspect the quality of the work. From the launching of the project in 1993 till today, more than 130 thousand unit projects of the Three Gorges Project have been checked and the acceptance rate is close to 100%.

People are also worried that in wartime, the Three Gorges Dam may become the target of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. Deputy Manager of the China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Development Co., Cao Guangjing says they have designed the dam in a way that can keep the damage done by such weapons to a minimum.

He says the Three Gorges Dam is a gravity dam, meaning every block of the dam can safeguard its stability by dint of its own gravity. Conventional weapons can do little harm to the dam. He adds that, even in the worst scenario, they can receive early warnings and drain the reservoir in advance, thus limiting the damage done by nuclear weapons.

During the construction of the dam, construction units have buried more than 6,000 instruments in the dam to monitor various physical data. Through the instruments, people can monitor the dam around the clock and ensure it works normally and safely.

Original source: CRI
Submit by CEIN  News on 13.06.2003