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Tibetan maintenance worker ensures local power use
By:Xinhua
update:May 04,2022
LHASA, May 2  -- An electrician in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Tashi Nyima needs to hold his nerve while working on pylons with 10kV high-voltage wires.
 
With three layers of insulating gloves wrapped around his hands, he needs to navigate through all the live wires and connect the tripping wire of a household as soon as possible.
 
Live-wire operation conducted at high altitudes is both a test of mental and physical endurance, often taking several hours to connect a single wire. After getting off the ladder, Tashi Nyima began to tremble, his clothes soaked in sweat despite the bitterly cold weather.
 
On the cold winter nights of 2018, the temperature in Lhasa had been known to drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius, recalled Tashi Nyima.
 
Tashi Nyima has been working as an electrician for nearly 30 years, dating all the way back to 1993. At the end of 2015, he participated in relevant training and became the first qualified person to work on high-altitude live-wire operation for the State Grid Tibet Electric Power Company Limited.
 
Live-wire operation is a dangerous, yet highly important job, needed to ensure local residents have access to electricity.
 
No matter the dog days of summer or the dead of winter, Tashi Nyima has to climb the ladder on an aerial lift device and conduct maintenance along the live high-voltage wire.
 
"We must be more careful because even a tiny mistake may lead to huge losses," said Tashi Nyima. During the six years of live-wire operation, his power maintenance team has gotten by with "zero accidents."
 
In 2018, Tashi Nyima was awarded the title of "Tibetan craftsman."
 
"We call him 'craftsman,' because despite his stern attitude, he really taught us a lot," said Wang Xinxin, the leader of the team.
 
Wang once led the team early in the morning to check the wire along Liuwu New District, southwest of the capital, but after a full day of efforts, the team was unsuccessful in finding the wire.
 
There was no fault indicator or data reference at that time and the whole team ran around like a a group of headless chickens, recalled Wang.
 
"The next day, Tashi Nyima came to help us. Luckily, He is well-experienced," Wang said. The craftsman, wearing an insulating suit, touched the wire all the way along to the hot part and found the wire fault came from a remote household at the foot of a hill.
 
The craftsman is an emotional anchor for new team members during live-wire operations.
 
Zhao Shuai, 28, a new member of the team, said that the craftsman remains vigilant throughout their work but also amiable in daily life.
 
"He is never tired of reiterating safety before the live-wire operation and patiently imparts experience he has accumulated over the years to us," Zhao added.
 
Tashi Nyima has to carry out live-wire inspections especially on holidays. Ze Lihai, his wife, opposed his occupation at the beginning.
 
"It is fairly dangerous. When I heard his gloves contacting with the wire and making a sizzling sound, I felt as if my heart had stopped," Ze said. "However, he insisted on ensuring the power use for local residents, so our son and I have consistently supported his work."
 
The team had carried out live work 919 times, effectively reducing the power outage time by more than 7,000 hours, according to the trade union of the company.
 
The emergency repair of wires can only be carried out with the power shut off, which meant that in the past, many areas in the capital were often left in darkness throughout the night.
 
"Now the live working has reduced power outages, ensured local power use and kept Lhasa's night sky 'bright'," said Tseyang, a full-timer of the trade union. 
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