A landslide near the North Spur at Muskrat Falls has raised fears among nearby residents about the stability of the dam.
The North Spur is a natural formation that contains quick clay, which is susceptible to landslides. For years, critics have accused Nalcor of underestimating the risk that the North Spur could collapse, flooding communities down river. Nalcor has insisted that its stabilization measures have made the dam safe.
“It should now be clear to everyone just how unstable this landmass is, and every precaution should be taken immediately,” Mud Lake resident Craig Chaulk wrote on social media, urging Nalcor to lower the water levels at Muskrat Falls. “I am anxiously awaiting a news release from Nalcor to inform us of their intentions.”
Nalcor issued a statement on Sunday morning. The Crown corporation said there is no safety risk as the landslide happened outside the North Spur stabilization area.
“Nalcor is aware of a slide that occurred on the north side of the lower Churchill River. This area is downstream (east) of the North Spur and is outside of the North Spur dam stabilization area,” the statement said.
“Significant work has been completed to reinforce the North Spur dam and this is no safety risk in relation to the North Spur or the Muskrat Falls facilities as a result of this recent slide.
“Landslides along the Churchill River are fairly common. Our geotechnical engineering team is aware of this event. Given the slide is outside the North Spur dam stabilization area there is no risk to the North Spur dam or the Muskrat Falls facilities or operations.”