Marshall Steam Station

The Marshall Steam Station facility is located near the town of Terrell, North Carolina. It operates as a coal-burning boiler station and has been in operation since 1965. The current owner is Duke Energy, which serves millions of customers with electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The power plant generates a total of 2.1 gigawatts of electricity and distributes it throughout the Carolinas.

As with any power station that uses coal, the Marshall Steam Station burns the ore in large furnaces. This in turn heats water in large boiler units, turning the liquid to steam. Under enormous pressure, the steam is forwarded through a piping system and turns giant turbine blades that are attached to an electromagnetic generator. The water for this operation at Marshall Steam Station comes from Lake Norman, where the facility is located.

There are a total of four burner units at the Marshall Steam Station. The first two were commissioned in 1965 and 1966. The latter two were completed in 1969 and 1970. These newer styled boilers units incorporate a modern burner array that vastly reduces the amount of nitrous oxide and other particulates that are emitted as a waste material. The latest in scrubber technology is being implemented at power stations across the country including the Marshall Steam Station. Environmental laws now state clearly that emissions of sulfur dioxide must be reduced to meet new requirements in the near future, and the scrubbing system in place at this facility uses both dry and moist materials to capture the sulfur dioxide and remove it from flue gases.

Asbestos was a material commonly used in power stations because of its ability to retard fire and its excellent insulating qualities. At the Marshall Steam Station there are areas where very high temperatures are encountered, and asbestos was often used in walls, ceiling tiles and protective clothing. Hot steam pipes were often wrapped in cloth containing asbestos, and electrical panels were sometimes lined with this fibrous material.

Asbestos is a silicate found deep in the ground. It is lightweight and the fibers easily break off and can be inhaled by humans. The dangers of long-term exposure to asbestos were made public in the 1980s. Former workers at the Marshall Steam Station may have breathed asbestos fibers for years but have yet to show symptoms of disease. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, certain lung cancers and benign growths can all be caused by asbestos fibers that have remained dormant in the lungs for years or even decades.