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Three Gorges Reef Explosion Project Approved
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A reef explosion operation at the Three Gorges dam was checked and approved on Saturday by experts from the Ministry of Communications and the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corp.

Thirty reefs in the waterway between Fulin County, in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, and the Tongluo Gorges, were destroyed on July 25, corporation sources said.

The operation is part of efforts to raise the water level of the Three Gorges reservoir to 156 meters above sea level. At that level the 30 reefs would have disappeared under the water and become a danger for navigation.

The initial reef explosion project, which began in October 2005, involved more than 850,000 cubic meters of earth and stone work.

In a related development, a structure over the Three Gorges dam is being dismantled as its "mission" has been completed. The structure, 120 meters above sea level, was built at the same time as the northern and southern sections of the main wall of the dam. It served as a platform for crane operations when the main wall and the power stations were being built.

The dismantling operation will be completed at the end of 2007, corporation sources said.

Started in 1994, the Three Gorges program of work will facilitate navigation and flood control on the Yangtze as well as generate electricity. With an estimated investment of 180 billion yuan (about US$22.5 billion), the facility will have a total electricity generating capacity of 22.4 million kilowatts.

(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2006)

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