A joint Canadian-Tadjik research team is to examine impoundment and seismic data at reservoirs in Canada’s James Bay region, in order to apply it to two hydroelectric power projects in Tadjikistan whose development has been delayed.

The Rogun and Nurek projects have been under development for several years but have been delayed by the uncertain political and financial position of the fledgling republic of Tadjikistan. At Rogun a 180m high embankment dam and 3600MW plant is planned, while Nurek will house a 2700MW plant. The Tadjik and Russian governments have equal shares in the Rogun station and they renewed their commitment to completing it back in January 1997 when the Russian Prime Minister and Tadjik President signed agreements to that effect.

Tadjikistan needs the station’s power to solve its energy shortages — the cause of major load shedding and power cuts in the winter months. Tadjik requests to Russia for a US$85M loan to complete the plant went unmet, however, waiting on improvements to the country’s political situation.

The Canadian-Tadjik study has been funded by NATO’s Scientific and Environmental Affairs Division, and will be carried out by the Tadjikistan Academy of Science and the Canadian Induced Seismicity Group of Calgary. It is part of an effort to answer environmental concerns about the Rogun project.

Researchers are inviting interested parties to consider the joint project at a seminar to be held later this year. Details can be found at website http:// www.cadvision.com.retom