TVA doubles size estimate of coal ash spill

TVA doubles size estimate of coal ash spill

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HARRIMAN (WATE/AP) -- Officials have doubled the estimate of ash that spilled out of a pond at a coal-burning power plant in East Tennessee.

John Moulton, a spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, said Friday the new estimate is about 5.4 million cubic yards of coal fly ash that broke out after the failure of a containment retention wall at the Kingston Fossil Plant on Monday.

TVA initially estimated the ash levels to be about 2.6 million and Moulton said they are trying to determine why their initial estimate was so low.

The new estimate was made after an aerial survey was takne Tuesday using a radar system that employs a laser light. 

TVA says an estimated 78,000 cubic yards of ash are on the railroad tracks and Swan Pond Road.  

Swan Pond Road and the tracks remain closed while crews work to clean up debris from the slide. 

Moulton said despite the increase, the initial tests have shown no threat to drinking water and there were no new advisories or recommendations for nearby residents, who still have concerns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Portions Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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