Friday, January 09, 2009

TVA Reports Another Leak

Here is another reason all the talk about "clean coal" is bullshit. No matter how much you wish it, using coal to produce electricity is a dirty business and the sooner we find a new direction the better. It's dirty on the front end and dirty on the back end.

TVA is investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widows Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama, a spokesman said at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time.

The leak, discovered before 6 a.m. has been stopped, according to John Moulton, with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“Some materials flowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond,” he said.

Gypsum is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants when “scrubbers” are added that use limestone spray to clean air emissions. This pulls sulfur dioxide from the emissions.

Tighter air emissions controls result in additional waste byproducts. Gypsum can be used in building materials.

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