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TVA to address OR Council on possible Bull Run closure

TVA officials will talk to the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday about the potential closure of the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton.

The informational briefing is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, February 11, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Training Room at 200 South Tulane Avenue.

The briefing is scheduled to include information on other activities related to the Bull Run Fossil Plant, according to a city press release announcing the meeting.

TVA has asked for public input on a review of the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of closing Bull Run, a single-generator coal-fired power plant, and Paradise Fossil Plant, which has one coal-fired generator still operating near Drakesboro, Kentucky.

A letter written by Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and approved earlier this year by the County Commission expresses the hope that it will remain open because of the 100 or so jobs at the plant, but also says that in the event TVA does close it down, that the utility consider using the site as the home of a natural gas plant, or make it available for commercial use. Oak Ridge officials also submitted a letter echoing those sentiments before the close of public comment.

The draft environment assessment analyzes the consequences of a possible retirement of the plant in 2023.

That report indicates that Bull Run has the worst rate in TVA’s roster of coal-fired assets for unplanned shutdowns to repair or replace failed equipment, and that it has “relatively high projected future” maintenance and environmental compliance costs.

The report also outlined the environmental, social, recreational and economic impacts that closing Bull Run might have. These include better air quality and fewer issues with solid waste such as coal ash, but also the loss of jobs.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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