What's up with that? MU Power Plant smoke part of normal procedure

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 6:11 p.m. CDT; updated 9:48 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — What was up with that black smoke coming from the MU Power Plant’s stacks Tuesday morning?

It was caused by the startup of a boiler being placed back online, according to Phil Shocklee, MU’s associate director of campus facilities.

“Different boilers are off at different times in the year,” Shocklee said. “Putting a boiler back online is standard operating procedure. There is no problem.”

Shocklee said he was not sure of the composition of the black smoke.

Usually, the large towers release white clouds of water vapor, which are a lot like rain clouds, he said. The vapor is the result of the power plant cooling the water that is used for steam throughout MU.

According to the power plant’s Web site, the plant constantly monitors the water content and says it’s completely safe.

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