Naughton Plant is a coal-fueled facility located close to Kemmerer, Wyoming. The station is owned and operated by PacifiCorp, a division of Berkshire Hathaway. The facility has three units which run at full capacity and supply a total of 707 megawatts of electric power to Kemmerer and the surrounding communities. Naughton, which has been operating since 1963, releases 517,966 pounds of coal waste annually. Water to run the station is delivered by pipeline from the nearby Hams Fork River. The facility uses almost 3 million tons of coal each year, though it has instruments to control output of particle emissions. The coal is derived from nearby coal mines operated by Chevron Mining, Inc, and brought to the station by conveyor belts. The fuel is burned in a 20-story boiler, which makes steam at a very high temperature, and conveyed to the turbine with pipes. The steam manufactures electricity by rotating the blades of the turbine. Surplus heat is dispatched to huge towers to be cooled and released into the air.
In addition to its production of coal waste, the plant’s date of construction means it almost certainly contains numerous areas where asbestos was used as an insulator. Asbestos is a dangerous substance which was used in most power plants and other industries because of its fire-retardant capabilities.
Many former employees have been placed at risk due to dangerous levels of asbestos. Although the use of asbestos is now controlled in the United States, great amounts of this toxic material still exists. When asbestos is disturbed, it becomes “friable” and can be released into the air as tiny particles of dust which cause serious illnesses. It has been determined that asbestos exposure causes an illness called Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the lining surrounding organs, and it generally carries a poor prognosis. Other diseases, such as asbestosis and lung cancer are also caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust. Furthermore, the symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related ailments do not appear quickly. In fact, symptoms can take up to 50 years to become apparent, limiting treatment options and leading to an extremely short life expectancy. References: PacifiCorp Source Watch