Volga — three scenarios of the apocalypse


* 8/25/11. * 17 August at a meeting in Astrakhan were announced plans to lift the level of the Cheboksary reservoir.

Who was the initiator of this than it threatens the Volga region and the Ulyanovsk region in particular, and what "water" danger we still lose?

This is what we have tried to find out. Results of the study were not just unpleasant, but stunning.

I go to a meeting with Yevgeny Burdin — the only Russian historian who specializes in problems of the Volga cascade. Clean yard with elements of the national landscape design recycled and twigs. Benches, swings, hogs of logs Losenok of old carpet … and on one of the benches are two "sculpture" made of rags — a man and a woman sitting on the "bench". The peasant in the hands of the accordion. Looks this "installation" at the same time pathetic and touching. But the main thing — is symbolic. Lost in thought, you know, that these rag man and a woman — are an expression of nostalgia for something very important, and really honest, but gone forever. The idea did not have time to think out, but penetrates original historical sadness.

The first thing you see at Burdin — lying on a sofa collection of works on Mologa edge. Evgeny just returned from a conference in Rybinsk on the problems of man-made sea of Gdańsk. Apparently, the conference was devoted to the annual gathering of former mologzhan, held on the second Saturday of August.

About Mologa decently written and filmed. The tragedy of immigrants from the flooded area was subject to several art books and the mass of documentary films. More importantly — its historic mologzhane sadness for the lost native land do not hide and survive together. And then you realize that the degree of sadness is much more than light nostalgia for village life, which found expression in the peasant with accordion and Baba in a headscarf in the yard.

Begins to penetrate a problem, and pops up an interesting fact. His lead assistant warden of one of the temples of Alexander Razumov with the words of his grandmother. She said that in front of the cathedral in Mologa lived crackpot who constantly spoke of a barrel full of water, held together by iron hoops. Flood stage when the project was implemented, people took those words as a prophecy. It ended with the same words, that the hoops burst and the water is gone. It may well be that these hoops burst we have with you on the eyes.

We want water!

On Monday, at the staff meeting Governor Morozov, among others, and reported briefly to the trip on August 17 meeting on the Volga to Astrakhan. The main outcome of the meeting — a policy decision to raise the level of Nizhnekamsk and Cheboksary reservoirs. Commissioning a preliminary design and develop an estimate given RusHydro. About the reasons for this decision, we have already mentioned in yesterday's article "Volga surrendered fish kings? '. Brief idea is simple — the lower reaches of the Volga have a clear shortage of water, in addition decreases the level of the Caspian Sea. To leave no water intakes "grassroots" cities, not to lose the last spawning and not dehydrate delta, additional reserves above the cascade. In the same article, we made the assumption that the decision might well lobby Astrakhan businessmen "of the fish."

But there is another side to the coin. Last year, as you know, was held under the "flag" heat waves. She caused a monstrous giant evaporation from area reservoirs. This, of course, did not go unnoticed. We all remember the problems with the water intake when "suddenly" headroom intake was rotting in a puddle. These problems had not only Ulyanovsk. The backup power supply passed a number of towns and cities of the Volga region. Then there was much talk of moving water intakes. It would seem that one more argument in favor of increasing the reserves of water in the cascade. But simple logic dictates that it is not. It is clear that the withdrawal of water for water supply, compared with total reserves of water in the reservoirs — it is literally a drop in the ocean. Apparently, it is well aware of and participants in the meeting held on August 17, as a key argument for increasing problems with water intake were not mentioned. Instead suggested another solution — the creation of "floating" intakes that are themselves adjusted to the water level. Thus able to remove the problems similar to last year's.

But the other truth at RusHydro. In the first half of 2011, Cheboksary hydropower developed 1.28 billion kWh of electricity, which is below the norm. The reason — all the same heat last year, because of which hit level regime of the reservoir. RusHydro lost some, though small profit. The rise of the same level would solve not only the problem, but would increase the theoretical maximum power generation from 2050 to 3500 million kW. On this occasion, on the site of Cheboksary hydroelectric promptly appeared table with comparative data for the pivot points 63 (existing) and 68 meters.

The numbers, of course, impressive. Killovatt millions, tens of cubic kilometers of drain thousands of square kilometers of water surface … At first glance, it appears that this is a huge and figures on electricity, without which it can not survive. But it is not.

In general, the issue of energy efficiency of the cascade at the meeting elegantly treated. The officials spoke in this way, that, well, it's time to give priority to the environment and level, and only then to the needs of the power industry. The reason for this is simple — according Burdin, all the energy produced by all the Volga cascade hydropower makes up only 2-3 percent of the total electricity generated in the country! In this Cheboksary hydropower — one of the most shallow, and the theoretical growth of electricity on it, amid all over the country completely lost … in the statistical error! That is to say that the rise of the level give something tangible power grid is generally not necessary. It turns out that all the fuss is really only for downstream flooding, and the most simple way.

RusHydro fairly closed organization, not too consumed in contact with the press. Get some concrete data we could not, but it became clear to the general situation, operating Volga basin. And this situation is quite simple — RusHydro does not answer, in fact, no way to exploitation of reservoirs as natural systems. All care for large amounts of tax payable for the use of resources at the minimum rate. Not carried out well and no serious and large-scale studies of reservoirs and civil engineering stage. Is a simple operation, which, judging by the power plant, it can be called predatory.

And that RusHydro charge of bringing the project to develop the reference level Cheboksary hydropower project to 68 meters.

It is worth noting that the Cheboksary hydroelectric introduced last among all of the Volga hydropower cascade. 68 meters of NHRIs (normal water level) in the project were originally laid on the basis of them, and all were built hydropower engineering infrastructure. "Exit" at 63 meters then had to because of the mass disturbances inhabitants of Chuvashia and Mari El. By increasing the NHRI to 68 meters electricity generation grew only by one third, but the flooded area grew by almost two times. In the area of flooding hit great with / agricultural land, at times increasing number of villages that had to be moved, and most importantly — because of the increase backwater rising groundwater. The already waterlogged in places on the left bank it would be a disaster. In the end decided not to tempt fate, especially in terms of energy losses were not too visible — the country has long relied on the CHP.

But the project was and did during these years out of date. We even have Burdin of the documentation on it. Rather, the project well known and in the government, so the order of the documentation for RusHydro can be seen largely as a formality. Already clear what must be done to raise the NPU Cheboksary reservoir up to 68 meters. It is also unclear what it faces, and what work is needed down the cascade. Rather, these data and the development oriented program "Development of water infrastructure in Russia 2012-2020 years", which is clearly laid down concerning the safety of passing through a cascade of additional volumes of water. It is planned that some of the program "obrybitsya" and we — are scheduled shore protection and repair of the dam. In addition, "the sly" certainly can break and something extra. It is no secret that the mayor of Ulyanovsk and the head of the Federal Agency for Water Resources is in an excellent way. But these potential benefits for certain strongly tied to the rising level of Cheboksary reservoir. Up to fork "would-level rise will add. of work. "

Well aware of the current situation in Nizhny Novgorod, Chuvashia and Mari El, where he actively discussing plans to raise the level of the reservoir. The total degree of discussion — very negative. This is understandable — no one wants a second "Mologa" and the obvious problems with the environment. Ulyanovsk region as long as it is out of the discussion — about the problem we have not said and not said. Although it would be necessary, as it is we have to disentangle the many negative consequences of a possible rise in the level up to the apocalyptic scenarios.

The first scenario of the apocalypse

Want to start immediately with the most terrible. What happens if the Cheboksary hydroelectric dam just burst? According to them Burdin, such an outcome is not excluded. The reason is simple — in the last decade, no one engages in the least sane state of civil engineering studies of the Volga hydroelectric except Rybinsk, as one of the oldest. The results were sad — HPP is disgusting condition and requires immediate repair. It is likely that the Cheboksary hydroelectric situation better, because it is newer, but it is unlikely for someone to charge. However, the scenario is quite possible to simulate, although the likelihood of implementation is low. Water at the site of the Ulyanovsk Reach rise by 5 meters, bridges washed away, the lower terrace flood, Dimitrovgrad podtopit on the right bank to begin the enormous landslides. All this will be accompanied by strong winds. Of course, there will be casualties.

The second scenario of the apocalypse

But, fortunately, this scenario is closer to fiction than to reality. But the same thing, but on the Kuibyshev hydro, does not look scary tales. The mechanism is simple — hydroelectric dams will be forced to miss a much larger volume of water flowing from Cheboksary reservoir. But her condition — a closely guarded secret. Research nobody spent.

The trouble did not end there. We received a letter from the staff of the Volga branch of Institute of Geology and Development of Fossil Fuels in Samara. The Institute conducts a comprehensive safety studies Zhigulevskaya hydro commissioned by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Scientists, among others, have investigated and tectonics. The result was stunning results obtained so that the Institute was recommended not to show them at all.

It is worth to remember about our previous research related to the seismic situation in the Volga region. It plans to build a nuclear power station in Dimitrovgrad. After analyzing the situation, then we came to the conclusion that the foundation stone of the project — this is geology. We asked geologists visited the public hearing, but did not realize there is a fault at Dimitrovgrad. But in the process of studying the problem we learned exactly what there Zhigulevsky major fault. And, reading the letter of the Institute, we again encounter the familiar problem of increasing the amount of stress in terms of geology, zones, which can lead to an earthquake in the Middle Volga. Nothing, in fact, a new, if not for the fact that the institution of foci of seismic activity near the most HPS. That is a threat exists, and it is real — the destruction of the dam due to earthquake may well be triggered by increasing the load on it.

The results of this study introduced the Ministry of Natural Resources, Emergency Management and the Federal Security Service of the Samara region, wrote to Moscow. As a result, under the leadership of Deputy Minister held a closed meeting, the outcome of which was the laying of control on the CPS (!).

I do not need to say that the danger is real. The studies were conducted not a bunch of marginal and credible institution, data were discussed at a high level. But, apparently, solved the problem simply shut up. At the same meeting, on August 17 it is not even hinted at, as well as the fact that the engineering studies of the condition of the Volga hydroelectric except Rybinsk, has not been at all.

About the consequences of a possible accident to even begin to say no — everything is clear without words. It is worth to mention that the Ulyanovsk region in this case does not get "slight shock," as it seems at a casual glance at the map. Indeed, most of the region is above the Kuibyshev hydroelectric dam. But this is of little help in the event of any significant accident — the movement of huge amounts of water (and in Ulyanovsk contained the largest reach of its reserves) will lead to disaster, in comparison with which the above scenario is a fantastic breakthrough Cheboksary hydropower seems flowers.

The third scenario of the apocalypse

But even without the geological reasoning apocalyptic enough problems. Some time ago, we got some interesting data on water quality. Water flowing out of our giant reaches, cleaner than flowing into. And this despite the fact that the Ulyanovsk — one of the largest polluters in the Middle Volga. How so?

It turns out that our reaches, the size of which made proud of — a giant cesspools, septic tanks for natural contaminants entering the stream. The level of water pollution in recent years, dramatically increasing, which means that the limit of self-purification capacity of the reach long gone. Now we only accumulate foreign impurity.

Theoretically increase the passage of water in the case of increasing Cheboksary reservoir will improve the self-cleaning of our portion of the Volga. But it is not. First, for the incoming water must be perfectly clean, and the second a simple calculation shows that, even in the event of a significant increase in the spillway will not be any noticeable effect. Rather, everything is exactly the opposite. Flooded areas form huge shoals, which will be an active process of waterlogging and biological contamination. There is sure to be hit and agricultural wastes to "tighten" up and coming enterprises that discharge of a sudden, "moving closer closer" river — this is the easiest way to get rid of impurities. As a result, we will get to the water pollution, at least not lower than now. And, most of all, above. And it will be more.

This burden falls directly on our waters, especially on Staromaynsky reach. Reserves for self-cleaning there is long gone. Silting exceeds all reasonable limits, the water for the last 5 years has passed from the class of "moderately polluted" in class "dirty" and "very dirty". Obviously, the nature can not cope, but it wants to hang overhead.

Here you have a third apocalyptic scenario — Volga without fish, with the smell of hydrogen sulfide, and with a layer of mud to the surface. And this scenario is real, it was treated in 1989, when the decision to not to raise NPU Cheboksary hydroelectric up to 68 meters.

Talk about the problems of the Volga endlessly. One thing is clear — the river is sick, and deadly. Solve problems in one part of it (lower) by the other without consequences clearly will not work. Even regulated and crap, the Volga is one organism, which can not operate solely on the basis of desires of various interest groups. I want to ask, what do you do? The answer to this question we will try to find in the near future.

Author: Masha Blank

Photo provided E.A.Burdinym 

Source: IA "Ulyanovsk-town news"

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