Talk:Tabqa Dam

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moved from User talk:PavewayIV#Tabqa Dam --CE (talk) 13:15, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Debating whether to start a Tabqa Dam page. Not much material besides online discussions at this point. All very tin-foil-hattish and speculation, but if the U.S. does manage to take out the dam (accidentally or intentionally) then many lives at risk. MSM useless as usual, CENTCOM propaganda shows little and hate to rely on ISIS vids. -- PavewayIV (talk) 18:29, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

In general I would say "when in doubt, start a page", but it is useful to take a look at existing wikipedia pages and ask what is lacking there. In this case, I think the history of control during the crisis could be enhanced, and statements about the state of the dam by the respective sides are lacking - but that I have done in the news already. Should there be some catastrophic event (intentionally or not) in the future, a special timeline leading up to it could be useful. Let's knock on wood that this does not happen ... dark age cult leaving with a scorced/drowned earth bang would so fitting, though. I'll be on the story anyway, and if you decide to start a page, I'll update it too with the information I find. --CE (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I suggest the images seem valid and should be accepted with only a grain of salt. It suggests something similar to the recent al-Jinah mosque bombing - it's reported US bombs damaged the dam, US shows it's intact, the truth seems to be they damaged part of it, and perhaps for good reason. I recall hearing that ISIS was using the dam as a militant headquarters. Could be the control towers housed that, deserved to be hit, and could be hit without the dam structure being damaged. The problems might be unseen damage, and of course damaged control leaving it unable to be opened, etc. It might be worth a page, but I'm not up to starting one.If one is made, CE's points should be considered, and this could all be cut and pasted to its talk page) --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:29, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I think Tabqa Dam would merit a page. There is some good analysis by Aldin Abazovic on Twitter. More in this article:
Yes, the U.S. destroyed the control rooms with bunker busting bombs. The slush gates cannot be operated. The reservoir is overflowing and might cause some catastrophic spillover. I cannot see what military purpose destroying the Syrian energy infrastructure might serve. Luckily the U.S. cannot destroy the turbines and the generators as the turbine hall is inside the dam structure itself. (Zaporozhian design first used in the Zaporizhia Dam when it was partially rebuilt in 1945.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:26, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
According to former dam engineers (statement released last Tues and conference in Turkey last Wed), they think the hydroelectric plant has been (or soon will be) irreparably damaged. The turbine hall equipment isn't necessarily watertight - think about the giant seals on the turbine rotors, etc. Turbine halls have extensive drain systems run from a designated drain pump room and reservoir (big tank) which is periodically flushed after oil is skimmed, debris filtered, water conditioned, etc. Tabqa engineers said things like tank limit sensors and low oil safety shutoffs all depended on the control room. Without the control room, pumps can fail from lack of oil circulation. Pumps are running now, but will not shut off when drain reservoir is full. Drain reservoir overtopping will flood room, ruining drain pumps and motors. Loss of drain system from motor overheating or flooding means pump room starts flooding main turbine hall. There's nothing like floor drains to the outside - that all goes to the drain pump system. As turbine hall floods, anything electrical that was running is ruined, all turbine hall controls destroyed, pressurized hydraulic seals fail, more water runs in from places like turbine/stator seals. Turbine hall not designed to hold water, so something eventually has to give when hall starts filling. And turbine hall is connected by regular doorways on either end to towers with control rooms. You can't automatically assume turbine hall is undamaged just because spillways look intact. It might be completely burnt out by now for all we know.
I'm reading a lot of that into brief statements by the dam engineers, but they seem genuinely worried. The US and CJTF-OIR have an intense propaganda... sorry, PSYOPS... campaign going on to eliminate concerns about the dam.
Tinfoil hat warning: Personally, I think they completely screwed up a Spec Ops effort to take over the dam. Collapsed roof panels are standard operating procedure for helicopter rope rappelling into target structure. First, cut power. Then fly in a few laser-guided inert BLU-109 hard target penetrators to kill or shake up anyone inside. AC-130s then drop roof panels with artillery or chain gun. Smoke, riot gas or *other* naughty incapacitating agents go in next, followed by SF-types dropping in from helicopter. In Tabqa's case, they would have been accompanied by other SF-types in a waterborne assault from the reservoir. All blacked out and everyone with night vision goggles. They practice this all the time. Idea would be to occupy the dam after clearing. Either something went wrong, or it went right but they decided to leave for some reason. Odd since the dam/structures are easily defense-able once you hold them.
Regardless of my speculation on the military op, there is good reason to think the hydroelectric plant is ruined or on it's way to being ruined. Dams have no auto-pilot. It's a machine that runs even when the turbines are not producing electricity. They are not designed to be unmanned ever, and certainly not for days at a time. Many questions just about the ability of the irrigation channel gates to keep the dam from over-topping. Engineers estimated about 30 days at current Lake Assad inflow. Maybe CJTF-OIR and SDF figured it would only take a few days to overrun Tabqa. I don't know, but the situation is more serious than they're letting on. --
More background on the back-story from under my tin-foil hat (my comment at bottom):
--PavewayIV (talk) 06:37, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Interesting. Do not understand why US would want to take control over the dam, in the military op scenario. Spillover and leaks might not necessarily be catastrophic, unless there is a failure releasing lots of water quickly (river may carry some amount of extra discharge, will flood only when it's high enough). State of play is likely that nobody is exactly sure whether or not catastrophic flood will occur. (With some effort invested, it's possible to figure out).--Resup (talk) 23:26, 3 April 2017 (UTC)