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February 4, 2014
05:30 EDTDUKDuke Energy provides update on Dan River steam station ash basin release
Duke Energy engineers have had some success stemming the flow from an ash pond at Dan River Steam Station. A temporary plug periodically mitigated the leakage into the Dan River throughout the day, and a team of experts continues to work on a solution to completely stop the release. Latest calculations by the company estimate 50,000 to 82,000 tons of ash has been released to the river as a result of a break in a 48-inch stormwater pipe at the power plant. This volume of ash would fill between 20 and 32 Olympic-size swimming pools. The company is also estimating between 24M-27M gallons of basin water has reached the river. The release is visible several miles downstream and crews continue to track and monitor it. Downstream municipal water supplies remain unaffected. As reported earlier today, the ash basin dam along the river has not been affected and remains secure. Some erosion has occurred on the interior side of the berm farthest from the river, and engineers continue working on a plan to stabilize that area. The basin was already at a lower level prior to this event since the coal plant retired in 2012 and has not produced coal ash since then. The primary basin is about 27 surface acres. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources performed a site inspection, and Duke Energy continues to work with the local and state officials responding to this event.
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