Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking for Christmas:
A disaster that occurred early Monday morning has ruined the holidays
for some residents of Knoxville, Tennessee. A retaining wall at the
Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired power plant collapsed,
spewing 2.6 million cubic yards of fly ash across Tennessee.
According to the TVA, 400 acres of land are submerged 6-feet deep in
the toxic substance. The sludge that burst out of the holding pond for
power plant waste ripped an entire home from its foundations and
flooded 11 other homes in the area.
no injuries related to the disaster have been reported so far. However,
the situation is expected to worsen. Fly ash is a highly toxic
substance that contains mercury, lead, and arsenic. A report from last year also states that fly ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste
It’s shocking just how dangerous coal mining really is. Not just for the miners but also for the public at large. Compared to nuclear energy, coal is worse in every respect. The design of modern nuclear reactors is nothing like the old style Three Mile Island or Chernobyl type. Modern pebble-bed reactors are physically incapable of melting down, and produce useful energy byproducts like pure hydrogen as well, There’s a great article in Wired about how the Chinese are aggressively pushing small-scale pebble bed reactor technology, which if deployed on a large enough scale could make coal mines obsolete.