First Norilsk power facilities grounded in surrounding lakes

First Norilsk power facilities grounded in surrounding lakes

February 20, 2023

In 1940, Norilsk’s high-voltage network already had a length of over 30 kilometers, but none of the substations was properly grounded.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The reason is that ground electrodes practically do not work in frozen ground conditions.

As the first polar engineers calculated, in order to earth only one object acceptable, about four tons of iron would have to be hammered into the permafrost.

Prisoner-engineer Vladimir Glazanov proved that the entire energy security of the plant and the village exists only formally. He also suggested a way out: to use a lake ground electrode: it is necessary to lay massive metal grids on the bottom of deep non-freezing lakes, the soils under which are ordinary, thawed.

In this way, the central power plant, distribution substations and the combined heat and power plant (CHP-1) built in 1942 were grounded. The bottom of Dolgoye lake, Kvadratnoye lake in the Old town and other surrounding water bodies were used as thawed soil.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that Norilsk people changed the beds of local rivers and streams.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

February 20, 2023

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