The November joint ASCE + AEG dinner meeting will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2017. Mike Bruen from MWH will present Conditions Assessment of a Dam, Tunnel, and Power Station at a Hydropower Project in Nepal. See below for additional details.
Tickets available online: https://asceandaeg.brownpapertickets.com
When: Thursday, November 16th, 2017
- 5:30 pm - Social Hour
- 6:30 pm - Dinner
- 7:30 pm - Presentation
Best Western Executive Inn
200 Taylor Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
From 2014 - 2016, three natural hazards, large landslides, an earthquake and major flooding, significantly damaged the Upper Bhote Koshi (UBK) Hydropower Project, a run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in Nepal. The first strike occurred on August 2, 2014 when a massive landslide downstream of the power station knocked out three transmission towers. The landslide, with an estimated volume of 6 MCM, dammed the river, creating a lake that stretched 3 km upstream. A total of 156 fatalities were attributed to this event.
The M7.8 Gorkha earthquake less than a year later was the second strike to the project. At the time of the earthquake, the plant went through an unscheduled emergency shutdown and appeared to be undamaged. However, numerous aftershocks including M6.7 and M7.3 events de-stabilized the slopes, triggering rockfall above the project facilities and landslides and debris flows throughout the area. It was rockfall debris that rained down on the 2 m diameter surface penstock and ultimately ruptured the pipe resulting in an uncontrolled dewatering of the headrace tunnel, releasing more than 50,000 m3 of water that severely damaged the penstock and flooded the powerhouse.
The latest strike, occurred on July 5, 2016 while the project, which was still under repair, was hit by a catastrophic debris-laden flood event that severely damaged the headworks and again flooded the powerhouse. At the time of the event, the Bhote Koshi River peaked at about +3.5 m above the top of the dam (2600 m3/s). The flood event was significant as the bed load carried an overabundance of large boulders (4 m to 10 m diameter). At the headworks, the flood event caused the ultimate destruction of the desanding basin, as the riverside wall failed, and with the river choked off, the river was redirected, eroding the abutment creating a channel that bypassed the dam.
Mike Bruen is a Vice President with MWH now a part of Stantec, and has served in various roles including Senior Project Manager, Senior Tunnel Specialist, and Engineering Geologist specializing in tunnels and underground engineering and construction for wet infrastructure, hydropower, and dam projects. Mike has more than thirty five years of experience working in North America, Central and South America, Asia, and the Middle East. He has been involved in over 50 tunnel projects, totaling more than 100 miles of tunnels and up to 33 ft in diameter, more than 60 shafts, and caverns worldwide. Selected project experience includes the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP, Chicago), Lake Mead Intake 3 (Las Vegas), Brightwater Conveyance and Fremont Siphon (Seattle), Deep Storm Water Tunnel System (Dubai), Bath County Pumped Storage Project (VA), the Esti Hydroelectric Project (Panama). Recently he was the lead author for the chapter on Water Tunnels for the UCA of SME book, the “History of Tunneling in the United States.”
He has a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master of arts degree at SUNY Buffalo in geology. He is a member of AEG, UCA of SME, ITA, PMI USSD, and the DRB Foundation.