Tonight at 7 pm A few folks got to meet with and fire questions at Ron Hall, the Plant Manager for the TVA Kingston Steam Plant. TVA Senior Vice President Bob Deacy also took our questions. They answered everything we threw at them. The most refreshing answer I heard at times was "We don't know yet," with regard to exact details on how things will be handled beyond the initial stages.
I came away thinking that the people at TVA public relations should get out of the way and let everyone hear from the actual people at ground zero. It's far more honest reassuring than the corporate blather we've been getting filtered through the Knoxville media.
Some things I learned:
The scum floating on top of the lake is mostly tiny little bubbles of glass called "cenospheres". It's non-toxic as long as you don't breathe it. It also has value if collected, dried and purified. (I've used truckloads of it building boats.)
TVA is about halfway through clearing the road through to Harriman. They haven't started the 1500 feet that turn right onto Swan Pond Circle, which will take a while longer and require a new temporary road higher up the hill.
They have brought in over 60 pieces of heavy equipment with more arriving daily, including floating excavators which will cut a channel to drain the coves that are currently dammed up by sludge.
They also said they would have all their testing verified by outside agencies. My problem was that the agencies they named were all other government entities and I suggested they embrace the watchdog groups and let them sample anything they want to. Heads were nodding but we'll see.
There is a weir being constructed across the Emory River to contain the sludge where it can be vacuumed up and removed. That's the justification for closing 4 miles of the Emory.
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