The plan to build the hydroelectric plant was approved in September 1954 and later that year the first workers and machines arrived at Bratsk. On December 21, 1954 preparation works were initiated by the Nizhneangargasstroy departament (Russian: Нижнеангаргэсстрой), later renamed to Bratskgasstroy (Russian: Братскгэсстрой). Concurrently, the city of Bratsk was founded. On December 12, 1955 Bratsk was officially converted from a workers settlement into a city by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.
Construction was declared as the Komsomol's high-tempo priority goal and was in the center of public attention. Eventually, a lot of the workers were awarded state prizes and the plant became a symbol of the industrial development of Siberia.
From July 1955 to October 1957 the 220 kV power line to Irkutsk was constructed. On November 6, 1957 the Bratsk substation received the first current from the newly constructed plant and later that year this current was transmitted to Irkutsk for the first time via the newly created power line. In 1961 the second 500 kV power line was added.
On July 18, 1961 the Bratsk Reservoir started filling (level raised up to 100 m so that it became the largest artificial lake of that time). First stationary 225 MW generator (No. 18) became operational on November 28, 1961 at 10:15 local time. After 7 days on December 5 the second unit No. 17 started to operate and on December 12, 1963, units No. 16 and No. 15 were included into the Unified Energy System of Siberia. On May 9, 1964, operators began to control the plant as the central control post was put into service. On September 30, 1964, the last cubic meter of concrete was poured into the dam wall.
Construction of a railway track over the dam began on March 3, 1965 and it started to operate on June 16. A vehiclular road opened on July 28.
On December 14, 1966 the last unit, No. 1 was operational and on September 8, 1967, the State Commission accepted the inclusion of Bratsk into constant use.
Read more about this topic: Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station
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