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Duke Energy Ash Basin Overflows, Spilling Coal Byproduct Into River

  • Company says that coal ash at the site ‘remains in place’
  • Hollow beads from burning coal flow into Cape Fear River
Coal byproduct is seen spilling over Sutton cooling lake into the Cape Fear River. 

Coal byproduct is seen spilling over Sutton cooling lake into the Cape Fear River. 

Source: Duke Energy Corp.

Updated on

Floodwaters have overwhelmed an ash basin at a Duke Energy Corp. power plant in North Carolina, spilling a byproduct of burning coal into the Cape Fear River.

The company said coal ash at the site “remains in place” but that tiny beads called cenospheres are flowing into the river. The hollow beads, left over from burning coal, are comprised of alumina and silica, Duke said in a statement Friday.