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 Post subject: 60 minutes - tick, tock!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Hey all! Long time no see!

Did anybody see Sunday night's episode of 60 minutes about coal ash and it's disposal? They touched upon an accident that took place in Tennessee.

(and just because I watch 60 Minutes doesnt' make me old... so no snarky comments!)

They're pushing for legislation to designate coal ash as hazardous waste.

The report was pretty biased. The way Leslie Stahl was acting, you'd think coal was a horrible form of energy. Like it hasn't been around for millions of years.

But what I don't get is that if there is a proper way of disposing of coal ash (in a dry fill instead of a wet pond) then why would companies continue to dispose of it in a way that they know it's dangerous?

Fleur aka Spike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:51 pm
Posts: 1423
Location: SW Indiana
I tend not to rank very high on the tree-hugger scale. A close relative to Mike A's yogurt-eaters.

But my guess is ash is stored wet, to keep it contained. I'm not sure that it doesn't come out of some scrubbers as a wet product to start with. So it would have to be dried and then burried to prevent it from blowing all over the place.

Wet storage has been historically an acceptable method. There was an incident and now the greenies are on a rampage.

Any ash product will have a concentration of heavy metals and the things that don't burn. What burns away is mostly the Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen. Everything else goes up the stack or comes out as ash.

The ash in the ponds is a very fine product that was scrubbed out of the exhaust gas. Power plants grind the coal into a very fine powder and blow it into the boilers through large burners. These boilers are many stories tall and the burners are arranged from the lower to the middle portions. What falls out is a small portion that is called "bottom ash". What goes out with the gases is called "fly ash".

The point is power plant boilers and their ash don't look anything like what come out of a coal stove.

The other point is power plants burn a massive amount of coal a day. The Burn rate is on the order of 10 tons per megawatt per day. Within a 50 mile radius of my home there is roughly 5800 megawatts of capacity. The is roughly 7 unit trains a day with 80 cars each.

The result is no small amount of ash.

_________________
I don't have all the answers.
I don't even know all the questions!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Come to think of it, I don't know what the complaints are... birth defects, cancer, poisoning?

Pretty much the same things you could find downstream from a pharmaceutical company or living near a power plant. Hell, there was an abundance of brain tumors where I grew up because of high power lines and radio antenas.

Hell, life is dangerous!

I guess there's always going to be pros and cons.


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