25.08.2009
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25 August is declared a day of mourning at JSC RusHydro

25 August has been declared a day of mourning at all branches and affiliates of JSC RusHydro for our colleagues and friends who died as a result of the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP. At 9:00 Moscow Time and at the same time in all the time zones in all parts of our country, the personnel of the company's branches and affiliates will observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the disaster.

 

On 17 August, 2009, at 8:15 an accident occurred in the turbine room of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP that caused the deaths of staff of JSC RusHydro and contractor organisations of JSC Gidroenergoremont, LLC Technostroy and OOPSK Avangard S. This terrible tragedy brought was devastating for the inhabitants of the village of Cheryomushkiy, where every home is now full of pain and tears for lost relatives, friends and colleagues.

 

The inconsolable sorrow of the people of Cheryomushkiy and personnel of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP became a common sorrow for all the many thousand of people who work for JSC RusHydro. Today, all the company's personnel, from the North Caucasus to Kamchatka, are grieving for the insufferable loss and feel deep in their hearts the pain of our colleagues from the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP.

 

At this time, when our dead colleagues and friends are being interred, it is very hard for us. We share your pain and want you to know that we are always with you. This tragedy has us even closer together. At this difficult time, we must stand close up to one another. We really hope that our moral support and sympathy will at least help slightly in easing the grief of your irreplaceable losses and serve as some consolation for those who have lost their relatives and loved ones.

 

At the time of the accident on 17 August, 2009, 9 of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP turbines were in operation (hydro-turbine No. 6 was in reserve). The total active capacity of the turbines amounted to 4400 MW. At 4.15 Moscow Time, a tremendous bang was heard in the turbine room, followed by release of a column of water around hydro-turbine No. 2. Light and sound alarms came on at the Central Control Console. Loading was reduced to 0 MW with complete loss of the plant's own needs and flooding of the turbine room building.

 

At 5.20 Moscow Time, the emergency repair valves on the inflows to the hydro-turbines were closed down by hand from the crest of the dam and water access to the turbine room was cut off from the headrace. To replace the passage of the water through the turbines into the spillway dyke, at 7.32 Moscow Time, current was switched on from the mobile diesel generator on the gantry crane on the dam crest. The operation to lift the gates and release the water through free was completed at 7.50 Moscow Time. Throughout the period of the accident, there was no risk of water spilling over the top of the dam and the entire inflow into the HPP's dam was released free through the water release arches.

 

As a result of external examination, it was discovered that hydro-turbines 2, 7 and 9 had been destroyed, turbines 1 and 3 seriously damaged and hydro-turbines 4 and 5 slightly damaged, that the metal structures of the roof of the turbine room has collapsed, that hydro-turbines 8 and 10 were damaged internally and that turbine 6 was in a satisfactory state. Transformers 1 and 2 had been destroyed, while transformers 3, 4 and 5 were in a satisfactory condition. It will be possible to determine the state of the turbines and transformers more precisely after the water has been pumped out of the turbine room and all the debris cleared. The outdoor switchgear-500 was not damaged and is working normally. No damage was caused to the body of the dam or the spillways.

 

Intensive rescue and urgent accident restoration work are currently under way.

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