UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 28th, 301 AP.

Leaked document talks of four Ramali River power stations

Documents have been leaked from the Ministry of Infrastructure confirming the
feasibility of four hydroelectric power stations along the Ramali river in
northern Savana state to generate enough electricity for over seven million
homes.

The leaked documents detail and evaluate a proposal to build the four concrete
dams, between 180 and 350 metres tall, to dam the mighty Ramali river which
flows at an average of 31 GL per day*. The report calculates an average
generation of 2.68 GW, producing about 23,500 GWh of electricity each year,
enough to supply 7.45 million Utanian homes, which would make the scheme the
largest hydroelectric scheme in Utania.

<tech> * compared to the Rhein @ 172 GL/day & Mississippi @ 1,555 GL/day</tech>
Proposed dam location
The leaked report also recommends that due to high seasonal variability in
water flow, the scheme be upgraded to a peak capacity of 4 GW. It acknowledges
that one of the biggest obstacles will be the 42,000 Ramal-Utani who live along
and depend upon the river for their farms and villages, and estimates that
there "probably" will be health problems experienced by the creation of the
large dam lakes, and recommends the construction of an additional regional
hospital and provision of clean water supplies for the locals. Water dams
typically result in higher rates of some water borne diseases as the lake water
is largely stagnant and not chlorinated.

The ambitious scheme would cost an estimated Û10 billion, take 4 years, and
employ an estimated 35,000 workers, which the report admits "without stringent
controls on the working population, could have a significant effect upon the
local population".

With the leaking of the report, the Parliament's Yannist MPs declared their
"unreserved opposition" to any plan to construct dams along the river, and
demanded the President to immediately forswear against such plans or "face the
consequences" in the election in a week. The anti-development Yannists are
expected to win three of the five seats in the northern Savana electorate, but
threaten to take one of the two government seats.

Many fear that the Yannists may take more extreme measures, as they are widely
held to have participated in the attack on Zartlam oil exploration rigs in the
Guwimith Strait that lead to the collapse of the Tsarist regime, and, more
recently, are said to be fighting a guerilla war with South Bay government and
paramilitary forces.

The President has been embarassed by the document, but his response to this
leak is critical to his government's electoral success: if he backs the
Yannists, he may lose as many as six government seats in Lasanne, where an
electricity crisis is looming, and lose government in the Parliament.
Conversely, if he backs the plan, he may retain government, but lose Ramal
support, and possibly start a fight with a touchy guerilla group.

The only signal provided at this stage was from his Treasurer (finance
minister) who said "it would be a shame that the needs of fifty thousand people
overshadowed those of seven million". The nation may soon see how much anger
fifty thousand people can generate.


©UPA, 301 AP.

<TECH>
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)