Jul 31, 2016

Sunday Focus: Coal Ash Rethinking

     When an earthen-dam coal-ash containment pond burst at the TVA's Kingston Tennessee coal-fired power plant in 2008, it cost the utility billions to clean it up, including the cost of loading the coal-ash onto trains and transporting it to a huge landfill in Perry County, Alabama.

      Now the utility has decided it will not move the coal ash at ten other sites, including one in Alabama. 

     Instead it will drain the water and "cap" the piles of ash. No details on just how that will be done, but it has to be cheaper than the Kingston operation.

     Utilities across the country seem to have decided it is a no-win battle to try to continue their coal-ash storage programs.      
     Georgia Power is closing its wet pond disposal operations, and sister utility Alabama Power is ending coal burning at the plant in Greene County, replacing it with cheaper natural gas.

 Environmental groups have blasted the TVA decision NOT to move the coal ash, but utilities have been roasted when they do move the ash too. It will be an expensive long term problem no matter which action utilities take.


[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of www.timlennox.com]
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