Three USSR Engineering Disasters

1) Dnieper Dam Power Plant
Water flow too slow (required world's largest turbines- see plate#3)
Created in a flood plane: 10,000 farmers forced out & farmland lost
poor facilities, scarce food = large scale disease and death
shore erosion and algae blooms = environmental disasters

2) Magnitogorsk ("Steel City")
In 1927 Palchinsky published critique: lack of water transportation, no coal nearby, no labor force nearby, no studies of extent of iron ore .
Worker's promised "garden city" away from industry; got barracks with open sewers, directly in the path of blast furnace fumes, instead.
30,000 prisoners used, 10% died the first winter.

3) White Sea Canal
Almost all workers were prisoners; 200,000 died during construction.
Canal would be frozen half the year, and water too low in dry summers.
Engineers given 20 months, using no mechanized equipment or concrete.
Wooden canal walls and gates quickly rotted, too shallow for oceanic boats.