April 06, 2004 19:51
Amid concerns about flooding from the lower Bukhan River, it has been confirmed that the construction of the North Korean dam called Imnam or Mount Geumgang dam was completed at the end of last year.
The Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced Tuesday that the construction of Imnam dam, which began in October 1986 on the Bukhan River, was finally completed last year. A ministry official said, “As our Peace Dam is also in the final stages of construction, it is expected that large floods in the lower end of the river will not occur.”
Imnam dam is located 19 kilometers north of the DMZ, with a length of 710 meters and height of 121.5 meters. Its energy generating capacity is 810,000 kilowatts and the total reservoir capacity is 2.62 billion tons.
As a countermeasure against signs of damage on the Imnam Dam that could trigger flooding, the government decided to invest W188.3 billion in the construction of the Peace Dam. When the Peace Dam is complete, the reservoir capacity will increase from the original 590 million tons to 2.63 billion tons.
However, with the completion of Imnam Dam, fresh water reserves are expected to decrease, and water resources of the Han River will be reduced. Unlike most dams, instead of sending the water used for energy into the lower part of the river, the Imnam Dam disposes the water though a tunnel into the East Sea.
A Ministry of Construction and Tourism official said, “The Imnam Dam will divert 1.7 billion tons of water that flowed into the Han River yearly.” The official said that, with the exception of flood seasons, a shortage of 620 million tons of water will occur annually (based on 2011 projections).
(Cha Bong-hak, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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