Courtesy Reuters

If all goes according to plan, the People's Republic of China by the year 2009 will have completed the biggest, most expensive, and perhaps most hazardous hydroelectric dam ever attempted. The megadam is under construction near the center of China on a fabled stretch of the Yangtze River. Along a mountainous section of the river valley that sharply narrows in three places to form immense, steep-walled canyons--the Xiling, Wu, and Qutang Gorges--the dam will create what the Chinese refer to as a "lake within the gorges." The government claims the Three Gorges Dam will increase the supply of affordable electricity throughout

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