SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Massive Chilean Dams Approved
from Nature News
Officials in Chile have approved a controversial US$3.2-billion project to construct five hydropower dams in Patagonia. The HidroAysén project--a collaboration between the country's two biggest energy firms--plans to generate 2,750 megawatts of power by damming two major rivers, the Baker and the Pascua. But it must first seek approval for a 2,300-kilometre transmission line, costing another US$3.8 billion, that would carry power to Santiago.
The project was finally given the go-ahead after an arduous three years in the approval process. The assessment was first presented to the Environmental Assessment Commission of Coyhaique--a regional government body in southern Chile--in August 2008, but the commission wasn't satisfied with it and asked for an addendum.
Dozens of public organizations and thousands of individuals pointed out weaknesses in the study, saying that it lacked crucial information, ignored important issues, used incomplete data, misrepresented facts and contained poor analyses. The project had to submit the assessment three more times, responding to 4,046 comments, before it was finally approved.
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.