30.10.06

Ash Pits at Longannet

Longannet Power Station (just over the Forth from Grangemouth) is the biggest pollutor in our area (and in Scotland). Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for Europe) most of the air-bourne pollution goes into the high atmosphere to be carried away for a few hundred miles. However I have heard tell of falls of mysterious dust in Culross.
A couple of years ago on Doors Open Day I went to see an old salt panning building which is just past Culross on the coast. It is on Scottish Power land which has been reclaimed from the Forth. The salt panning buildings used to be on an island, but now its part of this reclaimed land. Basically what happens is that the ash from the power station is washed away by water drawn in from the Forth, and then pumped along the sea front past Culross and into ash pits at the other side. The water then drains away and leaves the ash in giant pits. Once the pits are full the top is capped with earth and made into a place where you can walk your dog.
I suppose I am posting this to let you know the consequences of our power station, and also because I wanted to show a link to the programme "Flash Earth" which shows an ariel view of the site. (You need the Flash to show it- once you open it, read the instructions, click on the black box and you will see the pits).
Is there anything we can do about it? I'm not sure. It was being presented by Scottish Power as a good environmental management option. But...

1 comment:

Dode said...

I looked into the waste ash issue after visiting the site a few years ago, when I left me, my car, and just about everything on the east side of the station was covered in the stuff. Although it's not nice it seem to be as harmless as most other fine particulates. There was a firm on that used a proportion of Longannet ash for building products I think.
There is some interesting although quite possibly biased information at http://www.ukqaa.org.uk who would have thunk that ash would have it's own very association.
It does seem a daft location, at some point the forth will take it back and all that ash will end up along the estuary and river bank.
I guess the constituents of Longannets ash may not be typical as for a time they were burning waste (pelletised sewage sludge) along with coal. I'll make enquiries at SEPA to see if anyone has questioned whether any of this results in deposits in the ash.