The Tucuruí dam is a massive dam inaugurated in 1984 on the Tocantins River in the Amazon/Tocantins river basin in eastern Brazil. Built in a tropical rainforest, it backs up a 2,875 square-km. reservoir. The installed generating capacity is 4,200 megawatts, but was scheduled to be doubled in 2000. The social impacts and environmental costs of the dam have been controversial. [1] It was one of the 10 dams in major river basins selected by the World Commission on Dams as a case study. [2] A film Fate of the Dammed was made by the Television Trust for the Environment in 2001.

The reservoir behind the dam flooded an area the size of Sicily, displacing 40,000 people. The jungle flooded was not cleared and has since its immersion produced substantial quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. [3]


  1. Abstract of "Environmental impacts of Brazil's Tucurui Dam: unlearned lessons for hydroelectric development in Amazonia" in the journal Environmental Management, March, 2001
  2. Press release announcing case study by WCD
  3. Transcript Fate of the Dammed

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