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Vol.6 No. 5, August 2008

SPILLWAY START-UP SARCELLE WORKCAMP IS TAKING SHAPE Behind the scenes at the powerhouse

People with a powerfull vision


RUPERT DAM …and they’re off! VGP – Things have moved quickly over the past few weeks at the Rupert dam and spillway sites. In mid-July, CANMEC Industriel began carrying out the procedures required to start up the gates. More specifically, the workers spent about five days checking the circuits, emergency system and wiring to make sure the structure’s four gates would function properly. The two spillway gates were then raised; they will remain open until next year, when a portion of the Rupert River begins to flow northward. At the end of July, EBC-Neilson completed construction of the upstream and downstream cofferdams at the Rupert dam site. At this point, all of the flow from the Rupert was being channelled though the spillway and

back into the riverbed some 200 metres farther downstream. EBC-Neilson is now working on the foundation treatment for Rupert dam

and the fill work for the structure is slated to begin in early September. If all goes well, Rupert dam will be completed this fall. The structure will be 460 metres long and 30 metres high.

The workcamp is taking shape NG – Located more than 100 km north of Eastmain workcamp, the site of the future Sarcelle workcamp is a veritable beehive of activity. There are already two contractors on the job: Les équipements J.V.C. is finishing up the earthwork and installing municipal services, and le Groupe Modspace Secto is installing the 36 modular units that will become the cafeteria. Since June, the latter has been busy dismantling the cafeteria at Péribonka workcamp so that the modular units could be transported more than 980 kilometres to the Sarcelle site. The 300-bed workcamp, with its new cafeteria, is scheduled to become operational in September.

Good neighbours Only 7 km from SEBJ’s Sarcelle workcamp, the Goldcorp camp (also called Sarcelle) is housing over 50 employees from SEBJ and Les équipements J.V.C. until Sarcelle workcamp is operational.

Supervisor - SEBJ Public Relations Yves Barrette / Artistic Director Bionda Miotto / Editor-in-Chief Jimmy Lavoie 819 672-2200, ext. 3853, lavoie.jimmy@hydro.qc.ca Writers Brian Brousseau, Véronique Gagnon-Piquès, Nathalie Girard, Karine Lemay Contributors Marvyn Bergeron Translator Patricia Hamilton / Graphic Design Paul Salois Design / Photographer Paul Brindamour / Printer Imprimerie Lebonfon Eastmain Magazine is published by SEBJ Public Relations for the workers of the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert project. Internet site: www.hydroquebec.com/rupert Extranet site: www.extranetsebj.ca Eastmain Magazine is printed on chlorine-and acid-free EcoLogo certified paper, made in Québec using biogas energy and containing 100% post-consumer fibre.

2 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

People with a powerful vision


Canal C-1A Canal C-1

Rupert tailbay

Rupert diversion jobsite Spillway

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3 Arques dike

Canal C-4

VGP – CANMEC Industriel, the firm responsible for supplying and assembling the gates, hoists and stoplogs for the spillway, has completed its work. All of the structure’s electrical and mechanical systems are now functional. The spillway gates are now open so that the water from the Rupert River can flow westward, despite the cofferdams blocking the riverbed.

Lemare dam

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

Rupert dam

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 3

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Transfer tunnel

Rupert forebay

Rupert workcamp


Contractor FGL is currently working on 13 of the 16 dikes covered in its contract. In fact, three of the dikes are already finished: LR-45, 46 and 48A. Structures LR-43, 43A, 43B, 49, 50, 53, 54 and 55 are 20% complete and LR-47 is 80% finished.

FGL is also responsible for building the project’s longest dike, LR-56, which extends 1.8 km. At least 770,000 m3 of fill will be needed to complete the structure. So far, 40% of the work has been done on the dike.

Dike LR-39

Contractor SBC-EMF is working hard on three major dikes: LR-42, LR-40 and LR-39. Two of them, LR-42 and LR-40, have cement-bentonite cores. Work on the moulded-wall core of LR-42 dike is now under way, while 60% of the work has been completed and filling has begun on LR-40 dike, which also has a cement-bentonite core. LR-39, the biggest dike in SBC-EMF’s contract (1.1 km), is 50% finished. Farther to the north, contractor CCDC is working on LR-15A,15B, 21B, 24 and 28 dikes. Most of them are over 75% complete except for LR-15B, which is 25% finished, and LR-28, where subcontractor Icanda has completed 50% of the cementbentonite core walls.

Canal C-1A Canal C-1 Dikle LR-12A Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3 Arques dike

Canal C-4

Dike LR-28

Rupert workcamp Transfer tunnel

Lemare dam

Dike LR-39

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

Dike LR-57 Rupert dam

Contractor CRT-Hamel is busily working on 11 dikes. The work on dikes LR-4, 4A, 12A, 8A, 8B and 8C is over 85% complete. Dikes 5, 8D, 9C, 10 and 11 are in varying stages of completion (25 to 45%). The two canals C-1 and C-1A, are 90% and 75% finished, respectively. Dike LR-12 A

4 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Dike LR-28

The work being done by EBC-Neilson on LR-57 dike is progressing slowly. Nearly 75% of the fill work is done and the structure should be completed in late August.

Rupert tailbay

Dike LR-57

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Rupert forebay

Rupert diversion jobsite Dikes

VGP – Some 74 dikes need to be built at the Rupert jobsite. The five companies responsible for the dike construction contracts—EBC-Neilson, Fernand Gilbert Ltée (FGL), SBC-EMF, CCDC and CRT-Hamel—will have completed 60% of the work on the dikes by the end of 2008.


Rupert diversion jobsite Transfer tunnel

Canal C-1A Canal C-1

Rupert tailbay

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3 Arques dike

Canal C-4

Lemare dam

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

VGP – Contractor SBC is now excavating the bench on the downstream side of the transfer tunnel. Drilling has to go to a depth of 10 metres along the entire 2.9-km length of the tunnel before the structure can be completed. The contractor has excavated about 1 km of the bench since mid-June and is currently advancing at a rate of about 150 metres per week.

SBC workers are also busy inserting some 3,000 rock bolts into the upstream side of the tunnel. Once the work is complete, at least 20,000 rock bolts will have been put into the tunnel. Rupert dam

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 5

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Transfer tunnel

Rupert forebay

Rupert workcamp


Canal C-1

Rupert tailbay

Canal C-1A

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-1 instream flow release structure

Lemare instream flow release structure

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3

Nemiscau-2 instream flow release structure

The Lemare instream flow release structure (SBCEMF) is 90% finished. Immediately after the concreting work was completed in mid-July, subcontractor Omnibec got started on the structure’s mechanical and electrical systems. The company is currently conducting tests with a view to making final adjustments.

Arques dike

Canal C-4

Rupert workcamp Transfer tunnel

Lemare dam

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

Concreting work is now in progress at Nemiscau-2 and Arques dike (CCDC). Lemare instream flow release structure

6 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

Rupert dam

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

VGP – Two of the Rupert jobsite’s five instream flow release structures have been completed: Nemiscau-1 (HQC) and LR-51-52 (FGL).

Rupert forebay

Rupert diversion jobsite Instream flow release structures

Eastmain 1 reservoir


Rupert diversion jobsite Dams

Canal C-1A

Nemiscau-1 dam

Canal C-1

Rupert tailbay

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3 Arques dike

Canal C-4

Rupert workcamp

VGP – In addition to Rupert dam, two other structures are currently under construction: Lemare dam (SBC-EMF) and Nemiscau-1 dam (HQC and KoloVeidekke). Workers have just completed the foundation treatment at Lemare dam and are now starting the concrete work. Nearly 50% of the work on the structure has been completed. Lemare dam is slated for completion at the end of October.

Nemiscau-1 dam

As for Nemiscau-1, 80% of the asphalt concrete pours have been completed. Contractor Kolo-Veidekke plans to finish the dam core in late August. Meanwhile, Hydro-QuĂŠbec Construction is conducting fill work on the structure.

Lemare dam

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

Rupert dam

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 7

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Transfer tunnel

Rupert forebay

Lemare dam


Rupert diversion jobsite Canals

Canal C-1

Canal C-1A Canal C-1

Rupert tailbay

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C-2 Canal C-3 Arques dike

Canal C-4

Canal C-4

Transfer tunnel

Lemare dam

Canal C-5A Canal C-5 Canal C-6 Canal C-7

Work on the other canals at the Rupert jobsite (C-4, C-3, C-1 and C-1A) is progressing intermittently. The structures are slated for completion in 2009.

Rupert dam

Canal C-3

8 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

VGP – Work has begun on the Sakami canal, 200 km north of Rupert workcamp. Contractor JVC has just finished mobilizing and setting up the materials laboratory. Nearly 6,300 m3 will have to be poured at the site. So far, the jetty—a structure that looks for all the world like a cofferdam, but serves to route vehicles rather than dewater a work area—is in place and excavation work near the river is under way.

Rupert forebay

Rupert workcamp


Excavation of penstocks

KL – The rock excavation work being carried out at the powerhouse is nearly complete. Once it is finished, more than 1,645,000 m3 of rock will have been removed from the powerhouse site.

Excavation of the penstocks for the new powerhouse got under way at the end of July. The function of these huge conduits is to channel water from the reservoir to the power plant’s turbines. There will be three penstocks in all, each 127 metres long.

Nearly 506,000 m3 of rock had to be excavated from the Eastmain-1 powerhouse site, which makes the two generating stations very different, morphologically speaking!

Opinaca reservoir

Muskeg substation

Eastmain workcamp Eastmain-1 powerhouse

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse Eastmain 1 reservoir

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 9

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse Rock excavation at the powerhouse


Eastmain-1-A jobsite Temporary dike

KL – The last sheet piles are about to be installed at the temporary dike. The sheet piles are crucial in making the structure watertight. A pumping system will be used to dewater the enclosure in late August. Once that is done, the excavation work for the headrace and water intake can get under way.

Opinaca reservoir

Muskeg substation

Eastmain workcamp Eastmain-1 powerhouse

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse Temporary dike

10 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

Eastmain 1 reservoir

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Temporary dike


Behind the scenes at the powerhouse You’re only just a few metres inside the tunnel and you already have a choice to make: you can go straight ahead, or you can turn right. So you turn right. The mystery beyond the curtain KL – About 60 metres in front of you, there is a huge, black curtain hanging from the top of the rock wall to the ground. Anyone would be tempted to know what lies behind this mysterious curtain…and you are no exception. You approach the curtain and lift one corner to reveal something monumental, carved right into the rock itself. Suddenly, you find that you have the best seat in the house from which to admire the nearly completed rock excavation work undertaken to make way for the new powerhouse. After speaking with the superintendent, who explains that this deviation in the tunnel was made to facilitate the future concreting of the powerhouse, you decide to retrace your steps and take the other route through the tunnel. The walk is going to be much longer this way…

Sights, sounds and smells You are not alone on your walk; you are accompanied by the noise of the machinery bouncing off the walls and the damp smell of the rock, and by miners, blasters, surveyors, operators, drivers and foremen, all working by the bright light of their searchlights and headlamps. Profile in the axis of the temporary access gallery to the penstocks Penstocks Temporary access gallery (pilot shaft) Temporary access gallery (pilot shaft)

275 metres of temporary tunnel At the very end of the gallery, two sideby-side Jumbo drills sit facing the next rock wall to be excavated; it is almost as though machine and rock are staring each other down, preparing to do battle. These giant twins, who owe their

name to their enormous size and three articulated arms, are even equipped with artificial intelligence that tells them which holes to drill and where. There is no question about who is going to win this fight: the two Jumbos will bore through 11 metres of rock in 24 hours, bound and determined to reach the light at the other end of the tunnel. A foreman explains that you are in the pilot shaft—a temporary, 275-metre tunnel that will serve to facilitate removal of the debris from the excavation of the future penstocks. Hats off to the heroes of the dark It is time to return to the surface. As you come out, you are assaulted by the sudden light of day. You turn once more to look at the tunnel and a thought occurs to you: from outside, it just looks like a black hole. But deep within that black hole, a host of people are working furiously like a huge army of ants. Hats off to the heroes of the dark.

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 11


WHY A TUNNEL? VGP – The transfer tunnel at the Rupert jobsite seems to have earned a round of hearty applause from everyone. The engineers patted themselves on the back for having come up with the idea, and the environmentalists and the Crees were pleased because the tunnel preserves the territory it passes beneath. Initially, the plan had been to build two flow control gates and a canal in the vicinity of Lac de la Sillimanite. There was a major problem with this design, however: the formation of frazil in winter. To help prevent frazil from forming, it would have been necessary to dig a very wide, shallow canal to slow down the flow, and three lakes and all of the land in the construction zone would have been destroyed in the process. That’s when the much better idea of building a tunnel came up; channelling the flow under ground would solve the frazil problem and considerably reduce damage to the environment. But there was still one problem: making sure that no more than 800 m3 per second of the Rupert’s flow would be diverted. The transfer tunnel, located 42 km downstream of the spillway (the starting point of the diversion), is the best spot for measuring the diverted flow. A weir was built at the tunnel entrance and connected to an instrument called a staff gauge, which will measure the flow passing through the tunnel. If the flow through the tunnel exceeds 800 m3/sec, the staff gauge will send a signal via optical fibre to the spillway, which will open its lateral gates to release the excess flow into the Rupert River! What a stroke of genius!

12 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

People with a powerful vision


Supply of concrete KL – Construction Polaris was awarded the contract to supply the concrete for Eastmain-1-A powerhouse. During the month of July, the contractor dismantled the existing concrete plant located near the intake for Eastmain-1 powerhouse and will be installing two concrete plants, along with crushing and sieving equipment and an ice plant, closer to the current jobsite. In all, nearly 100,000 m3 of concrete will have to be poured at the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse site.

“I wouldn’t have been happy building sidewalks in Montréal”

Laval Dionne

His career path hasn’t exactly been a straight one. After graduating from the École Polythechnique with a civil engineering degree in 1967, he began his career building roads in New York State, in the U.S. Then, in 1974, Mr. Dionne came back to what symbolized El Dorado to any public works engineer: Phase I of the James Bay Project!

As Manager of Roads for the engineering firm Lavalin at the time, Mr. Dionne was accomplishing great things, such as the famous 400-km winter road from LG-4 to Caniapiscau, completed in only two months during the winter of 1976–77.

PROFILE

KL – As soon as I walked into his office, Mr. Dionne asked me: “So, how do you like the Eastmain–Nemiscau road?” Now, there’s a man who is proud of his life’s work and passionate about what he does. Any other Quebecer would have started a conversation with a complete stranger with a comment about the weather, but not him! With Laval Dionne, Manager of the roads division at SEBJ, you talk about…what else? Roads, of course!

In 1977, Mr. Dionne left the country again to land a little farther south this time, in Haiti, where he stayed for 11 years. As a consultant, he was once again involved in public works and submitting studies to international funding agencies. Home again in 1990, Mr. Dionne returned to James Bay as an employee of SEBJ, and remains as passionate today as ever about the projects in the North he loves. When I asked him what James Bay represents for him, he thought about it for some time before answering that he probably wouldn’t have been happy

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 13


Société d’énergie de la baie James Extranet site Workers’ Extranet site puts on a new face Without a doubt, one of the most exciting changes to the Extranet site is its new interface. In fact, the site has been sporting a brand new design for the past few weeks. The most noticeable difference is the dynamic new layout that greets the visitor as soon as the home page comes up. In addition, to make site navigation easier, users can now access more information right from the home page. But one of the biggest innovations of the new interface is the way the home page can be personalized; users can now move any element on the Extranet site’s home page around to suit their tastes and needs. And let’s not forget all of the new functions and updated content that have been added to the site. More specifically, the Extranet site has a new, improved weather forecasting system, a Web cam from Eastmain-1-A powerhouse, an SEBJ telephone directory with photos, a new feature for viewing photos of the ongoing construction work and lastly, a 360° virtual tour! Come on in and see for yourself! In honour of its first anniversary, the Société d’énergie de la Baie James Extranet site has taken on a new and improved look, with new, practical functions and a completely redesigned graphics interface. JL – For over a year now, the SEBJ Extranet site has been getting more and more popular.

14 Eastmain Magazine, August 2008

With an average 2,000 visitors a month, the site is a valuable resource for anyone working on the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/ Rupert project. Despite its soaring popularity, however, the Extranet site is putting on a new face in an effort to keep up with the changes that are happening at a dizzying pace at the project’s various worksites this summer.

Visit the Extranet site at www.extranetsebj.ca. Happy surfing!

People with a powerful vision


Work at heights Any risk of falling more than three metres must be eliminated. The best way to eliminate this danger is to choose a work area where there is no risk of falling more than three metres. However, given the nature of our work, we cannot avoid situations where such a risk exists. It is therefore up to us to implement proper planning and avoid the risk of injury. Here are a few ways of doing this: Option 1: Install a guardrail system that meets with the following criteria: • • • •

Horizontal load capacity of at least 900 newtons (200 pounds) Vertical load capacity of at least 450 newtons (100 pounds) Height of 1 to 1.2 metres Toeboard to eliminate the risk of objects falling to lower levels

Option 2: Be secured by a harness at all times. When applying this option, it is important to use adequate anchorage and safety equipment. The worker must wear: • a harness that complies with standard CAN/CSA Z259.10-M90; • a shock absorber secured to a lanyard that complies with standards in effect, to prevent the worker from free falling more than 1.2 metres. The worker will be attached to one of the following: • Single fixed anchorage with a minimum load capacity of 18 kilonewtons (4,050 pounds-force), or • a horizontal steel wire rope lifeline, 12 mm in diameter and no more than 12 metres long, to secure no more than two workers at a time, able to withstand a force of at least 90 kilonewtons (20,332 pounds-force) and a maximum angle of 5°, or • a self-retracting lifeline that complies with standard CAN/CSA Z259.11-M92 or • a vertical lifeline that complies with standard ACNOR Z259.2- M1979

Eastmain Magazine, August 2008 15


VGP – Two archaeology firms are currently working at the Rupert jobsite. At least 16 workers from Arkéos and 26 from Archéotec are combing the territory, looking for vestiges from the past. And so far, they haven’t been disappointed! Archéotec is conducting digs in the area of LR-56 dike, the farthest to the south. They have found many artifacts: potsherds, arrowheads, stone chips, red ochre, Onondaga chert, hearths…in short, no fewer than 21,000 pieces of evidence of human occupation have been found in the Rupert section over the past two summers. “The objects we find give us a lot of information on how the territory was occupied, the networks that existed between groups, the occupants’ lifestyles, and the organizational structures between individuals,” explains Archéotec Project Manager David Tessier. The artifacts enable the archaeologists to go back as far as 3,000 years, although some of the objects are only a few years old. “We are working in an area traditionally used by the Neeposh family,” says Mr. Tessier. “In fact, one of our researchers is a member of the family, and she provides a lot of valuable information when we need help.” Four other Crees are also working with Archéotec on the project. New discoveries? The James Bay territory has been studied from top to bottom. So what new discoveries could there be for the archaeologists to find there? “There are always new things to discover. So far, we’ve found evidence that leads us to believe that the people of the North may have made pottery; this introduces a totally new element into the history of northern Amerindian peoples.” Starting in late August, an exhibit of archaeological objects (with animation) will be shown at Rupert workcamp. “The individual” will be the main theme of the exhibit, which will give everyone the opportunity to view the artifacts found during the summer.

ARCHAEOLOGY So many discoveries!


SEBJ jrnal ang aoüt 08