It looks like the citizens of Harrington, Tennessee have been naughty this year. A coal slurry retaining wall has broken, contaminating four hundred acres worth of property with coal ash and demolishing fifteen homes in the process. That is more than enough coal for anybody's stocking, no matter how bad they have been.
The aging Tennessee Valley Authority site has been damaged as a result of the heavy rains that have been hitting the area in recent weather patterns. This has caused the retaining wall of the coal slurry reservoir to break and overflow. Clean up is going to be an extensive process lasting several years, possibly enough to warrant classifying the area as a Superfund site.
The reason why this is such a disaster is that coal slurry is vile stuff. Coal slurry is coal ash that has been mixed with water to make the particulate matter less apt to blow away and contaminate the quality of the air. Coal slurry contains numerous heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic to name just a few hazardous substances. The irony is that problems like this go largely unnoticed by media sources while the same agencies go into hysterics about the isolated issues of some nuclear power plants.
Let this be a lesson to the people who are against nuclear power of what reliance on coal power actually means. Disasters like this are by no means uncommon in the coal industry because by nature coal power is a dirty business. The sooner we switch to nuclear power the sooner that events like this will become a thing of the past. King Coal rules his kingdom with a sooty fist and all of us are suffering from his oppression.