Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, June 13, 2003


Eighty cracks have been revealed in China's colossal Three Gorges Dam, just days after engineers closed the dam's sluice gates and began filling a 640 kilometre long reservoir.

Pan Jiazhong, head of the dam's inspection group, said: "If water enters these cracks there could be negative effects, so we are fixing them very carefully. However, he denied that the cracks, up to 10 metres long, mean that the dam is seriously damaged.

Experts contacted by New Scientist agree, saying a catastrophic failure is unlikely. "It's a statistical fact that most dam failures occur on first filling. But the Chinese are very competent engineers, so I would not be overly concerned," says Richard Cox, a dam supervising engineer for the UK Environment Agency.

< email | 6/13/2003 03:21:00 PM | link

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