TVA plan suggests new way to store coal ash at Kingston plant

TVA plan suggests new way to store coal ash at Kingston plant

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The Tennessee Valley Authority released its corrective action plan Tuesday for the area affected by the ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant and it suggests a new way to store the ash.

The state required TVA to produce the plan, which is 73 pages.

A retention wall at the Kingston plant gave way on December 22, 2008, spilling 5.4 million cubic yards of coal fly ash across Swan Pond Road and the surrounding neighborhoods in Harriman as well as into the Emory River.

Click here for 6 News coverage of the TVA ash slide.

The biggest change described in the plan is that TVA is considering converting the Kingston plant to a dry ash collection system, versus the wet ash system it was using. That process is already in use at other TVA power plants, such as the Bull Run facility in Oak Ridge.

TVA says the conversion could take up to two years.

The plan calls for the failed ash storage pond to be permanently closed and capped.

In the meantime, two new temporary storage ponds would be built on unused areas of the Kingston plant property.

Unlike the older ponds, the new ponds will be lined to prevent groundwater contamination. Work is already underway to keep more ash from moving away from the site.

As the cleanup process moves forward, TVA is working to build a temporary dike near the main body of the spill. The utility says that structure is about 95 percent complete.

Crews are also stabilizing the existing dike walls with reinforcing boulders and clay caps on top.

And TVA will remove the ash from the Emory River with a dredging system.

The utility says the ultimate objective of its plan is to make the area "as good, if not better, than before the spill."

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