- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority has completed a 12-mile, four-foot-wide underground retaining wall surrounding 240 acres of toxic coal ash more than five years after a catastrophic spill in eastern Tennessee.

TVA officials told The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1hPYWYa ) the new system used more than 200,000 tons of cement and other materials and is earthquake resistant. It is expected to be capped off by the end of the year, where they hope to plant grass.

In December 2008, a dike at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant failed, sending sent 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the Emory and Clinch rivers, polluting the water, destroying three homes and damaging dozens of other homes. Cleanup has cost more than $1 billion.

Up to an additional $1 billion could be spent to finish the cleanup there and to better secure other coal ash storage sites in Tennessee.

Part of what made cleanup so difficult was a mixing of the coal ash with radioactive pollution from the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation, making it impossible to remove.

The new statewide coal ash security measures are expected to be complete by December 2022.


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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