Willow Island West Virginia

Allegheny Energy's Willow Island Power Station

One  Power Station Boulevard, State Route Two, Willow island West Virginia 26134

This plant burns light fluffy hot-burning West Virginia coal.  The electricity is shipped out in wires to users on the grid.  The EPA required cooling towers which turned out to have a  tremendous cost in Human life.  A scaffolding failure during the construction of the number two cooling tower killed all of the workers at the 168 foot level of the 430 foot concrete cooling tower.  This was a sad Christmas present for the local area.  Many workers were buried within sight of the tower in local cemeteries.  In all 51 men died instantly in the December 3, 1978 tragedy.  It is the second-worst construction accident on record, and carries grim echoes of the worst accident, the collapse of the Quebec Bridge on August 29, 1907, which killed 96 men.

Larger JPEG Image 300-KB

This Photograph is copyrighted by the photographer and from the collection of David Alkire Smith.  It was taken with a digital camera on December 31, 2004 from the cab of the tractor of a semi rig hauling hazardous casing head gasoline.  The photo was taken from the passenger's seat at normal highway speed just as dawn was breaking.  Some folks call a decent photo taken this way a "road kill" picture.  If you use this photo for desktop wallpaper, please keep in mind the cost of energy in human lives in addition to environmental concerns.

Enough “thermal pollution” to keep the Ohio River from freezing in the winter is desirable to permit winter barge and ferry traffic.  In addition, avoiding ice jams during the spring thaw avoids property damage.  If we had 10 to 20% of the thermal energy wasted here injected into the River Raisin in the winter, our ice jam and flooding problems caused by ice would be a memory.  Without some thermal pollution, the ice jam problem would return.  That is exactly what has happened on United States Rivers where environmentally sensitive people lacking practical knowledge have their way and impose such cooling towers on existing plants.

The Obama adimistration EPA is closing this plant for pollution.


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