National Geographic : 1948 Apr
That Plane Is Not in Trouble! It's Spraying DDT on Watery Areas to Control Malaria Where the poison mist falls, mosquitoes perish and their larvae cannot live. This flooded area lies near Big Sandy, in the Kentucky Dam region. So much hush-hush hid it that few know what all electric power did here in the fighting years. TVA provides most of the power for the atomic bomb works at Oak Ridge. More than half the elemental phosphorus we used in fire bombs, tracer bullets, and smoke screens came from TVA shops; so did trainloads of calcium carbide for artificial rubber, mountains of ammonium nitrate crys tals, and other chemicals; and power from here made more than half of all the aluminum we used to build our fighting planes during the critical early part of the war. Electricity and Its Users Power production was stepped up to such a high rate in the war that people asked, "What are you going to do with all that stream of energy when the war's over?" Well, today more electricity is being used here than ever before; so much, in fact, that hydroelectric plants alone can't meet the de mand and coal-burning steam generating plants have to help out. TVA now owns 6,507 miles of high-tension power lines to dis tribute its energy to customers far and near. It owns also 1,000,000 acres of land. TVA has a combination hydro and steam generating system with an installed generating capacity of 2,538,902 kilowatts, of which about 450,000 kilowatts is in steam plants. Its hydroelectric generating plants average about 13 billion kw-hr per year. In a year of very low rainfall the output from hydroelectric generation may fall to 10 billion kw-hr. In the fiscal year which ended June 30, 1947, the TVA integrated system produced 14.797 billion kw-hr, of which 92 percent came from hydro plants. Other electric systems of comparable capac ity are Commonwealth Edison, serving Chi cago, and Consolidated Edison of New York, with an all-steam generating capacity of 2,732,000 kilowatts. So world-wide is interest in this big job that visitors come from far lands to see how it's done, and take the lessons learned here back to their own countries (Plate III).