New Technology Gives Rail Builders Abundant Oxygen in Tibet
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 03/02/16; February 16, 2003.]
February 16, 2003 Xinhua (is the official press agency of the Chinese government)
Thousands of rail builders in northwest China have thrown away their air tanks and turned to a new technology for life-giving oxygen while working at high altitudes to link Tibet with other parts of China via the Qinghai- Tibet Railway.
Professor Liu Yingshu from the Beijing University of Science and Technology has developed a new way of generating ample oxygen for the builders by combining oxygen-making technology in the steel industry with the low pressure on the plateau.
The on-going Qinghai-Tibet Railway is one of China's most challenging projects since its builders face tough technical problems like highland cold, oxygen shortage and frozen earth.
Any violent movements on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as " the roof of the world", proved to be very dangerous for plains dwellers, let alone the builders sweating to dig tunnels and lay tracks for the railway.
However, no deaths of rail builders caused by oxygen shortage have been reported on the construction site since the project began two years ago, thanks to the introduction of many new technologies.
Even tunnel diggers for the railway can now enjoy the same amount of oxygen as that in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. They can inhale oxygen any time they need with new oxygen- generating machines and cars standing by.
China is considering applying this new technology to the trains and carriages once the Qinghai-Tibet Railway begins operation in 2007.
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