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What is the cause of the foam in the canal that runs under N.C. 133 near Southport?

Progress Energy Brunswick Nuclear Plant Communications Director Ryan Mosier said the foam on the plant’s cooling water outflow canal is formed just like ocean waves create beach foam.

At the Brunswick Nuclear Plant, 1 million gallons of water per minute are pumped from the Cape Fear River to pass through the plant’s cooling system and then drop approximately 15 feet to the head of the outflow canal. It is the churning action, like a wave crashing on the beach, that creates the foam, he said.

The lower Cape Fear River contains naturally high levels of sediment that causes the brown appearance of the foam floating in the outflow canal.

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