Tech Notes

ICOLD Forum: Bulletin on reservoirs and seismicity

The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) announces availability of Bulletin 137, Reservoirs and Seismicity: State of Knowledge.

This technical bulletin covers the problem of seismic phenomena associated with impounding of reservoirs. The bulletin was prepared by ICOLD’s Committee on Seismic Aspects of Dam Design, which consists of 27 members from 27 countries.

The 110-page bulletin covers:

— Reservoir-triggered seismicity phenomena and development of their evaluation and interpretation;

— Frequency of reservoir-triggered seismicity;

— Characteristics of reservoir-triggered seismicity;

— Mechanism of reservoir-triggered seismicity and rheology of earth crust materials;

— Pore pressures diffusion time;

— General statement on understanding reservoir-triggered seismicity phenomena;

— Risk management;

— Case histories; and

— Assessing the potential and monitoring the reservoir-triggered seismicity.

The main conclusion in this bulletin is that the possibility of reservoir-triggered seismicity should be considered for each large dam within the framework of prevailing seismotectonic conditions, says Martin Wieland, chairman of the committee. Although dams correctly designed on the basis of ascertained level of seismic influences are fully covered against possible triggered phenomena, existing structures and facilities in the vicinity of the reservoir might be damaged. This circumstance represents the risk deriving from reservoir-triggered seismicity, which must be observed during design of dams.


To order this bulletin for €28 (US$34) as a web-based version, €32 ($39) as a CD, or €35 ($43) as a printed version, visit: and click on Publications, then Bulletins.

— ICOLD is a non-governmental organization providing a forum for knowledge exchange in dam engineering. To learn more about ICOLD, contact Michel De Vivo, Secretary-General, ICOLD, 61 avenue Kleber, Paris 75116 France; (33) 1-47041780; E-mail:

Call for abstracts announced for HydroVision International 2013

PennWell Corporation, organizer of the HydroVision International conference and exhibition, is accepting abstracts for the Technical Papers track. The conference will be held July 23-26, 2013 in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Abstracts are requested on all topics of interest to technical professionals in the hydropower field. Preference will be given to abstracts that focus on innovative, practical and proven technologies and methods.

Abstracts that describe the focus and content of proposed papers (maximum of 400 words) are due October 19 through the Internet at:

All abstracts will be reviewed by the conference Technical Committee. If accepted, authors will be invited to submit a paper for inclusion in the official proceedings, which will be made available to conference delegates through an Internet link accessible with a password.

For details, contact (+1) 918-831-9736 or e-mail:

Alstom, Druk Green Power team for hydropower service center

Alstom and hydroelectric producer Druk Green Power Corp. are teaming up to establish a hydropower service center.

The new facility, which will be split 51% and 49% between Druk Green Power and Alstom, respectively, will provide repair services for hydro runners and other underwater hydroelectric components.

The service center is being built in anticipation of a boom in hydropower development as the governments of Bhutan and India have stated their cooperation in developing 10,000 MW of hydroelectric power by the 2020.

“This joint undertaking to build a high-tech service center is a result of the close relationship we have with Druk Green and of our desire to work with local partners to develop highly skilled local capabilities,” says Francois Carpentier, vice president of Alstom India Thermal and Renewable Power.

Alstom says it expects the service center to be completed within 27 months, with 62 employees during its first year of operation. The company says that number will be increased to 160 once the facility reaches its full capacity.

“The new service center is a key element in Alstom’s growth plans in the region and demonstrates our commitment to serve the Bhutan hydro market and more generally to be close to our customers in the region,” Carpentier says.

Book tells story of Akosombo Dam construction

A new book called The River’s Power tells the background of the Akosombo Dam and 1,020 MW hydroelectric plant on the Volta River in Ghana.

Author Annor Nimako is an educationist, writer and publisher who was formerly executive director of the Ghana Book Development Council.

The 474 page book provides background on the dam project, details on international financing, problems encountered during construction and the achievement of generating hydroelectric power. The author also discusses the fact that more than 80,000 people were displaced and resettled during construction of the dam.

Akosombo contains six turbine- generating units and began operating in the mid-1960s. It is owned by the Volta River Authority.

During the launch of the book in May, Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere, chairman of the National Media Commission, said the dam has benefited Ghanaians and become the bedrock of the nation’s industrial achievements.

— The book can be purchased through EPP Book Services at:

Norsk Hydro ASA names two new board members

Norsk Hydro NSA recently named two new members of its board of directors: Dag Mejdell and Victoire de Margerie.

Mejdell, of Oslo, Norway, is president and chief executive officer for Posten Norge AS. He also is chairman of the International Post Corporation and the Employers Association Spekter and deputy chairman of Evry ASA and SAS AB.

De Margerie, of Paris, France, is chairman and managing director of Rondol Technology Ltd. She is currently a board member for Ciments Francais, Morgan Crucible and Eurazeo.

Norsk Hydro is an aluminum manufacturer and owns and operates 17 hydroelectric stations in Norway.

Verbund releases book on history of hydropower

Austrian electricity company Verbund announces availability of a book entitled Hydropower. Electricity. Society. Power Plant Projects from 1880 in Focus.

This book covers the history of hydropower and electricity supply since the time of the Austrian monarchy.

The book was written by Oliver Rathkolb, chairman of the Institute for Contemporary History of the University of Vienna. He and his team set out to research the historical and social aspects of hydropower utilization. The timeline ranged from the beginning of electrification to contemporary debates around power plant projects such as Zwentendorf and Hainburg.

The 272-page book reconstructs the major economic, social, geopolitical and inner political influences that determine the perception of hydropower plants. The research looks beyond the national boundaries of countries and systems and compares the role of hydropower during the National Socialist era and Communism, as well as the importance of hydropower during the economic crisis in the years between the first and second world wars.

Verbund says a particular focus is placed in the book on the creation of public debate in connection with power plants and hydropower. This addresses the question as to who influences which public through the media and sheds light on the interests behind debates surrounding power plants and hydropower, the company says.

— The book is available on the Internet at: 2012/04/19/history-hydropower-book.

Flow Science announces deal with Australian distributor

Flow Science Inc. has reached an international association agreement with Don Computing to sell and support Flow Science’s “Flow 3-D” software in the countries of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The company already has distributors of its software in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Flow Science is a privately-held software company that specializes in transient, free-surface computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling software for industrial and scientific applications.

Book on underground infrastructure covers hydro projects

Elsevier announces availability of Underground Infrastructures: Planning, Design and Construction.

This 352-page book — by Bhawani Singh, Jian Zhao, and R. Goel of India — is based on a combined 75 years of field experience and places emphasis on simple, practical rules for designing and planning underground infrastructures such as tunnels and water networks. It is intended for construction engineers, construction managers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers and earthquake engineers.

This book deals with:

— Hydroelectric projects with modern planning of complex underground structures;

— Underground storage of food items, crude oil and explosives; and

— Highly cautious underground nuclear waste repositories.

— To order the book for US$99.95, visit: isbn=9780123971685.

Polish designers propose novel approach to hydro production

A submission to Amsterdam’s Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition in June could combine hydroelectric generation and pedestrian traffic in a unique way.

Where many conventional hydropower structures feature causeways on their tops for pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the “Turbine Bridge” — created by Polish design house DWAWU wiercinski + wrzeszcz — puts the bridge inside a rotating, tube-shaped structure that would act as the plant’s turbine.

A spiraled design on the exterior of the tube would cause it to rotate with the flow of the Amstel River, while a double-decker bridge inside would be used as a multipurpose space for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The bridge would be suspended and anchored at both ends, allowing it to turn freely.

Schematics provided by the architect show the plant’s generating units on the lower level of the bridge and a pedestrian pathway, bicycle shop, administrative offices and cafe on the top level.

Amsterdam, sometimes called the “Venice of the North,” is home to numerous canals and more than 1,500 bridges.

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