Official: Urgent Situation at Major Dam with Nuclear Plants Downstream

Official: Urgent Situation at Major Dam with Nuclear Plants Downstream

By ENENews
Seepage at bottom of dam causes early lowering of Boone Lake. Image credit: Tony Casey

Seepage at bottom of dam causes early lowering of Boone Lake. Image credit: Tony Casey

Official: Urgent, worrisome situation at major dam with nuclear plants downstream — We don’t know what’s going on — “You’ve got water able to get by that dam… coming out downstream… which, of course, shouldn’t be happening” — Danger of collapse called not ‘imminent’ — Cracks found in another dam nearby, water seeping from bedrock Johnson City Press, Jan 21, 2015 (emphasis added): … investigation into water seepage at Boone Dam hasn’t progressed far enough for TVA to decide on Boone Reservoir’s spring operations, said TVA spokesman Jim Hopson… Hopson also said it’s too early to tell what TVA will do if the seepage not resolved by the spring… TVA began its ongoing investigation in October when what appeared to be muddy water was seen flowing into a channel just downstream of the Boone Dam… he said agency officials are continuing the matter with a “sense of urgency.”… experts have been working to determine what exactly is contributing to the seepage and what would need to be done to correct the problem… simply taking a backhoe and tearing into the earth is not viable — could do more harm than good… Hopson also said there is no timeframe on when the investigation will be complete.Tennessee Valley Authority Alert Jim Hopson, TVA spokesman: “A lot is going to depend upon where we are with the investigation in terms of what decision can be made about how we’re going to operate the reservoir… safety has to be our overriding priority… there are a lot of people working on this, and they will continue… we noticed there was some discolored water that was coming out in the downstream river channel, just downstream of the dam itself, but coming out from the bank of the river which, of course, shouldn’t be happening… we want to make certain we understand exactly where that water could be coming from because it could mean that there is a flow of water under that earth and embankment… So this isn’t a case of where this thing is in imminent danger of collapse… [But] if you’ve got a dam and you’ve got water that is somehow able to get by that dam, that is worrisome… we’ve got to do [this] right because… we would create a safety challenge… we’re being very deliberate about this investigation, to find out exactly what is the challenge… We’re going to continue until we find out what is going on.” Kingsport Times-News, Jan 16, 2015: Contradictory rumors continue to circulate about the lake’s status due to dam seepage issues. Some are upbeat. Others are depressing. Kingsport Times-News, Jan 12, 2015: The dam at Bays Mountain Park [has] some hairline cracks, the cement in the masonry joints is breaking down… In light of the sinkhole and seepage issues at Boone Dam, the Times-News inquired about the dam at Bays Mountain… Bays Mountain Park Manager Ken Childress… said the dam still has its original mortar… it’s time for all of the mortar to be replaced. According to the state’s safety inspection, there are some minor hairline cracks at the dam, with one of the buttresses near the spillway section having visible cracking. The cement in the masonry joints of the buttresses is breaking down and the situation does require remedial work in the future. “What it needs right now is the mortar in the joints in the buttresses,” Childress said… “the mortar is old and is weathering.”… Childress said people have commented to him in the past about water near the bottom of the dam… “It’s always been there. The water is not really coming through the dam, but seeping through the bedrock the dam is sitting on,” Childress said. See also: Sinkhole develops under dam in US — Multiple nuke plants downstream — Gov’t notified of ‘stability issues’, plants begin evaluating potential flood impacts (PHOTOS) Source

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