Fatal dam blast: technological causes to blame

The disaster at Russia’s biggest power plant, which left dozens dead, was caused by technological malfunctions. This is according to head of Russian Technical Supervisory Authority, Rostekhnadzor, Nikolay Kutyin.

“At this point, the technological reasons of the causes are clear. Miscalculations made while operating the second hydroelectric generating set and failure of protection systems were to blame,” Kutyin said, speaking with journalists ahead of publishing the official results of Rostekhnadzor’s investigation.

“The automated systems malfunctioned and were no longer in control of the power station,” he added.

According to Kutyin, the investigation ruled out both a terrorist act and the suspected water-hammer effect. Instead, the investigative commission found out that the second hydroelectric generating set had no reserve feed circuit, though it was modernized in March 2009.

“It’s unclear why such a reserve feed circuit wasn’t included into the construction project,” Kutyin said.

Kutyin stressed that his authority had an inspection at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant planned in early September.

He added that, based on the investigation, the Technical Supervisory Authority will recommend the creation of a new power plant to replace the destroyed one, and establish guidelines for all hydro-electric power stations in Russia, both operating and under construction.

The final session of the investigative commission will take place on September 15. The final results of the investigation are expected to be signed at this session.