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Retired North Texas Power Plant Imploded

FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) - There were some early fireworks in Collin County Friday morning. The Luminant Energy Company imploded a nearly 50-year-old power plant.

Former employee Betty Stewart worked at the power plant for decades. "When I started, in '55, I was the only woman here and all the men were gentleman," recalled Stewart.

She retired in 1992, but came back one last time for the implosion. "I just wanted to be here," she said. "I just felt so close to this place and I wanted to watch it go down."

At one time the plant, now owned by Luminant, powered more than 76,000 homes in the Frisco area. The facility was retired in 2004.

"It's an older form of [power] generation, much less efficient," explained Luminant spokesperson Ashley Barrie. "There's more efficient generation that has come online in the last couple years."

The extreme heat caused a delay with the implosion. Two of 14 charges didn't fire the first time... leaving the structure standing for two more hours while a crew reset the explosives. "There's a chance with the excessive amount of heat that the explosives could break down," explained Lisa Kelly, with Advanced Explosives Demolition.

After the issue was resolved the plant, which took 21 months to build in the 1950's, tumbled down in a matter of seconds.

While the facility is now gone, Stewart and the other former employees who gathered to watch the implosion will still have their old memories.

"It's sad to see it go down, but you have to be ready for change," one person said.

Officials with Luminant say once all the debris is cleared 85-percent of the materials from the plant will be recycled. The materials will be shipped to recycling centers around the world for reuse.


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