THE ‘demolition day’ for three of the six cooling towers at Didcot A power station is due to be announced next month.
Decommissioning at the coal-fired power station started in March last year after 43 years of producing electricity for the National Grid.
RWE npower has appointed a demolition contractor, Birmingham-based Coleman and Company, and hopes to announce next month, or in March, a date for demolition of three of the six 325ft towers.
The plan is to blow up the three towers nearest to Didcot, while the towers nearest to Sutton Courtenay will be demolished at the end of 2014 or in early 2015, or be taken down gradually.
RWE npower spokeswoman Kelly Brown said: “We are still not 100 per cent sure of the deconstruction method for the towers nearest Didcot but we are 95 per cent certain it will be demolition, and it’s likely to happen in June.
“The three towers will all be demolished at once at the touch of a button and will implode in a circular motion, folding in on themselves as opposed to exploding outwards.
“We are now in very early discussions with planners and local stakeholders, including the Highways Agency, emergency services, police and National Grid.
“More than 100 individuals and groups have been in touch so far to see if they can be involved in pressing a dummy detonator.”
Ms Brown added that she thought it likely that the demolition of the southern towers would take place on a Sunday.
She said: “There will be a massive exclusion zone on the day and we want to get the local community involved, but we need to consider the fairest way of representing the community.”
Father-of-two Lyn Bowen, 73, from East Hanney, near Wantage, said last year that he would consider getting involved in detonating the cooling towers if invited.
He turned on the power station when it opened and pressed the button to switch it off last year, dressed in the boiler suit he once wore for the former Central Energy Generating Board.
Mr Bowen said: “I will probably be invited to watch but I might just turn my back at the last minute because it’s a sad reflection of what we have done to the British power industry.”
Town council leader Margaret Davies said: “There’s a lot of anticipation from residents and some people will miss the friendly giants when they are gone. This will alter Didcot’s landscape for good.”