- © 2014 by the Seismological Society of America
The Sayano–Shushenskaya hydroelectric power plant (SSHPP) is the greatest power plant in Russian history due to its highly rated capacity. This ranks it at number 7 in a list of hydroelectric power plants worldwide (Fig. 1).
It is an upstage of Enisey’s series of hydroelectric stations. The station’s unique arch‐gravity dam is the highest in Russia and one of the highest in the world. It has a maximum height of 242 m, its upstream face is delineated with an arc of 600 m in radius, with a width of 105.7 m in its basement and 25 m in its crown. The length of the dam’s crown with waterside inserts is 1074.4 m. Ten axial galleries are located in the body of the dam, which contain equipment to monitorthe dam’s condition and allow access for repair work.
Ten hydroelectric generators with centrifugal turbines are located in the SSHPP building, each has a power of 640 MW and works under a water head from 175 up to 220 m. Construction of the plant was started in 1963 and was completed in 2000. There were a number of problems concerning the destruction of spillways and forming of cracks in the body of the dam, which occurred during the beginning period of construction and operation, but these were successfully resolved.
The greatest anthropogenic accident happened within the plant at 8:13 a.m. local time (0:13 UTC) on 17 August 2008. Hydroelectric generator number 2 (HG2) suddenly destroyed itself during operation and was thrown from its position by water pressure. Water began to come into the turbine hall at a vast rate. At the moment of destruction, the total power within the plant was about 4100 MW; there were nine hydroelectric generators in operation. Unfortunately, most of the automatic self‐protection systems were not actuated. The …