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Begun in 1951, it was the largest coal-fired power plant in the world when completed in 1955. It was built primarily to provide electricity to nuclear power installations at nearby Oak Ridge . The plant is a popular site for birdwatchers , as many waterfowl come to the settling and treatment ponds nearby.
The plant has nine generating units: units 1–4, rated at 175 MWe each (launched into service in 1954), and units 5–9, rated at 200 MWe each (launched in 1955). It produces about ten billion kilowatt hours of electricity from some five million tons of coal each year. All nine generating units are equipped with cold-side selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone.
In 1976, its original stacks were taken out of service (though left standing) and replaced by a pair of 1,000.0 feet tall chimneys, one for units 1–5 and one for units 6–9.
In December 2008, an impoundment at the plant failed, releasing 1.1 billion US gallons of coal fly ash slurry that covered up to 300 acres of the surrounding land, damaging homes and flowing into nearby waterways such as the Emory River and Clinch River , tributaries of the Tennessee River. This was the largest accidental release of coal fly ash in the United States.
May 13th, 2012
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