The Nurek Dam is a large earth fill dam located on the Vakhsh River in the central Asian nation of Tajikistan. The Nurek Dam was constructed by the Soviet Union between the years of 1961 and 1980. At 300 m (984 ft) it is currently the tallest dam in the world. It is uniquely constructed, with a central core of cement forming an impermeable barrier within a 300-meter-high rock and earth fill construction. Length of the dam top is 714m, width at foundation level is 1420m and at the dam top is 20m.The volume of the mound is 54 million m³.
Antiseismic belts were provided at the upper dam shell due to increase dam seismicity starting from 855m and for the full slope length and width that accept and smoothly disburse shear stress that develops in the dam during earthquake. Reinforce concrete elements and flexible steel connections limit and adjust the operation of antiseismic belt. Rock fill between belt blocks provide solid drain lay that ensures dynamic pore pressure decrease in the material of the upper dam shell.
Concrete saddle locates under dam core and appears to be core extension. Concrete saddle at the upper side is built up as V-shaped unit for the good contact with the core and to protect concrete against piping under high water heads (up to 30 atmospheres). Concrete surface is covered with epoxy waterproof by 4mm thickness and reinforced by two layers of glass fabric. Concrete saddle divided by two expansion joints into three sections.
Analyses of monitoring data showed that it is in satisfied condition for the last 35 years operation. Due to that the experience of Nurek dam can be applied for the other high dams’ construction in the areas of high seismicity where the earth fill dam appeals to be more reliable rather than CFRDs.
The project is owned by Nurek Hydropower Plant, Ministry of Energy and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan,OJSHC “BARKI TOJIK”