By Editors of Power Engineering
A portion of the earthen cooling pond wall at Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro, North Carolina experienced a break early Tuesday afternoon following historic flooding from Hurricane Matthew’s 15 inches of rain.
The break, about 50 to 60 feet wide, is in the southeast corner of the 545-acre impoundment. The cooling pond is a man-made reservoir that was constructed to supply cooling water to power plants at the site. It contains no coal ash. The active ash basin is not affected by this incident and continues to operate safely.
Based on the current flooded state of the Neuse River, Duke says it expects the event to have minimal impact on the environment, contributing less than an inch of water to the river. The company says it’s working closely with local emergency management and other officials.
"We are giving this our fullest attention," said Regis Repko, senior vice president of Fossil-Hydro Operations. "We are assessing what resources we need and will position repair materials so we can respond quickly once conditions are safe to do so."
The 920-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle plant continues to operate safely.