Nalcor officials say a full inspection of the cofferdam at Muskrat Falls will be completed and any possible remediation work carried out as the result of increased water seepage from the rock structure this week.
The word comes after Nalcor experienced some problems with the upstream temporary cofferdam.
The corporation noticed increased water seepage through the dam early this morning and implemented its emergency preparedness plan. They opened the spillway gates to increase water flows and levels downstream of Muskrat Falls. Nalcor says there is no risk of flooding in any of the surrounding communities in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area, and that water levels and flow rates in the river will be consistent with spring flow conditions.
The risk of something going wrong at the main dam was one of the reasons for a lengthy occupation of the Muskrat compound last month. That focused on the North Spur, which largely consists of clay. The cofferdam is upstream from the falls, and is a temporary structure which protects the main dam during the construction phase.
Nalcor says communities and stakeholders in the area have been notified of the situation.
CEO Stan Marshall says they’ll get their inspectors in there first thing tomorrow morning. He says the water levels are back down and the engineers will be in for a “good hard look” tomorrow morning.
If necessary, more material may be added to the cofferdam to address the seepage.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay Town Manager Awakened by 4:00 a.m. Call, Told “No Imminent Danger”
Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Jamie Snook says he was very surprised to learn this morning that Nalcor had enacted its Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Snook says the town manager received a call at home from Nalcor officials this morning at 3:45. He says they were led to believe it was a courtesy call, and that there was no imminent danger. He says it all leads to more speculation and raises increased concern.
He says there appears to be some confusion around the seriousness of the issue, and doesn’t help to alleviate any of the ongoing concerns.