April 2010 News

01 Apr

In the March 1 meeting Mike Cuddy, Founder & President, Technology 2020 spoke on the role of Technology 2020 in development of technology in the Tennessee Valley.

March 8 Samantha Godsey, Project Manager, TVA River Operations gave a talk on the refurbishment of the Blue Ridge dam. The project is required to meet new, more rigorous dam safety standards at Blue Ridge Dam. It includes repairs to the penstock (the underwater pipe that carries water from the reservoir to the turbines in the powerhouse), which was damaged the first time it was filled with water in 1931, and modifications to the base of the intake tower and the upstream and downstream faces of the dam to increase seismic stability.

A deep drawdown is required to safely install a new liner in the penstock. The reservoir will be drawn down gradually beginning

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in mid-July 2010 and held at an elevation about 68 feet lower than the usual summer elevation for about six months.

TVA looked at beginning the drawdown later in the year, but the earlier date was chosen for two reasons: to reduce the risk of rain events adversely impacting the proposed project schedule and to increase the chance of completing the work in a timely manner and successfully refilling Blue Ridge Reservoir in 2011.

The penstock repairs will eliminate the need for regularly scheduled, routine

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deep drawdowns, currently required about every five years for dam safety inspections due to the deteriorating condition of the penstock.

March 15: Susanna Sutherland Bass, Program Manager, Sustainability, for the City of Knoxville presented an overview and update of initiatives and programs that are in the works and how they fit together to form the future of Knoxville.

March 22: H. Lee Dodds, Head of Department of Nuclear Engineering, UT-Knoxville spoke on the topic”Nuclear Power Today and in the Future”

March 29: Mitch McNabb, Project Manager & LEED Accredited Professional & Don Horton, Senior LEED Accredited Professional, McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc. Discussed the sustainable features of the Knoxville Station Transit Center. A number of energy saving features have been included in the wall construction. Parts of the roof are “green” with live vegetation growing on the roof. The plants will be grown in trays to allow access if a leak occurs.

Busses will enter and exit the facility on Church Street and Hall of Fame Drive. Ely Driver, a member of First Presbyterian Church, questioned the noise level of busses exiting uphill during Sunday church services.

The Soupçon is now published on the web at Electronic distribution saves work and expense. Members who want a hard copy of the Soupcon should send an email to or call (865) 690-0705.

Regular attendance fee for the TSK Monday luncheon is $13, which includes buffet style food and parking. Those who do not want to eat can attend the meetings for a fee of $7 that includes cover charge and parking.

Dues for 2010 are now due. Please pay your dues at the meeting or mail a check for $20, made out to The Technical Society of Knoxville, to Jean-Pierre Granju, Executive Director, Foreign Language Academy, 220 S. Peters Road, Suite 209, Knoxville, TN 37923. Your dues support the Technical Society as well as the Charles Edward Ferris Scholarship. Thanks to all who pay on time and thus reduce the work of the treasurer.

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