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Results of probe into Russian hydropower plant disaster announced

© Пресс-служба МЧС по Сибирскому округуResults of probe into Russian hydropower plant disaster announced
Results of probe into Russian hydropower plant disaster announced - Sputnik International
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The Russian industrial safety regulator, Rostekhnadzor, announced on Saturday the results of a probe into the August disaster at the country's largest hydroelectric power station.

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian industrial safety regulator, Rostekhnadzor, announced on Saturday the results of a probe into the August disaster at the country's largest hydroelectric power station.

The August 17 disaster at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant on Siberia's Yenisei River destroyed a turbine hall and killed 75 people.

"I will not conceal that the first theory was a terror attack... We have probed into everything in detail, no traces of a terror attack have been found," Nikolai Kutyin, Rostekhnadzor head, told reporters.

He said a number of aspects, including design, operation and repair drawbacks, had caused the disaster.

According to Rostekhnadzor's findings, ex-Russian top energy officials, including former electricity monopoly chief Anatoly Chubais are to blame for what had caused the accident.

The heads of the plant itself and its owner, RusHydro, also failed to take every effort to prevent the disaster, while the Sayano-Shushenskaya staff had not been trained for the disaster scenario, the technical probe said.

The Rostekhnadzor head said Timur Khaziakhmetov, a RusHydro senior official in charge of operations and control department, had asked to mention him among "those guilty."

However, Kutyin cautioned that those guilty would be announced in court.

Kutyin said Rostekhnadzor would continue work to further assess design drawbacks and the performance of equipment installed at the power plant that would require another few months.

Meanwhile, the head of a committee of the parents of those killed on August 17 told the Ekho Moskvy radio on Saturday that he was dissatisfied with the results of the Rostekhnadzor probe and that the list of those responsible should include at least 30 officials.

"[August] 17 is a result of negligence, laxity, and a lack of engineering thinking," Nikolai Zholob said.

The damage from the disaster has been estimated at over 7.338 billion rubles ($244 mln), according to the probe. The sum includes the loss from the wreckage of major power generating assets, and environmental damage, preliminarily put at some 7 billion rubles ($232.4 mln) and about 63 million rubles ($2 mln), respectively.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said earlier on Saturday that the budget for work to repair the Sayno-Shushenskaya plant had been approved at 21.6 billion rubles ($717 mln) in 2009-2010.

 

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