Secrecy surrounds exact time of Didcot explosion

Herald Series: Didcot's iconic power station is due to be demolished on July 27 Didcot's iconic power station is due to be demolished on July 27

THE company behind the demolition of Didcot Power Station has refused to give an exact time for the explosion, for ‘safety reasons’.

NPower announced yesterday that the iconic towers will be blown up at dawn on Sunday, July 27.

But the firm refused to give an exact time, although dawn will be at 5.17am on that day.

Spokeswoman Kelly Brown said: “[We] do not want thousands of people turning up to watch the towers come down (even though this may happen) so it is hoped that by not announcing the time this could help.

“We understand that this will probably get out, but we want to support this position the best we can.”

The explosion, which will take less than a minute, will produce a large amount of dust which it is hoped will land nearby, but that depends on wind direction and speed.

Part of Milton Park and Purchas Road will be closed and a 300-metre exclusion zone will be in place.

Dozens gathered to watch as Richborough power station’s cooling towers in Kent were blown up in a similar way in 2012.

Didcot Town Council leader Eleanor Hards said residents would get up to watch the demolition despite the company’s attempts at secrecy.

She said: “I think people will make the effort. I just hope they can be accommodated.

“[NPower] haven’t handled it well, they’re trying to dampen the public interest which is not a very good idea.”

Coal-fired Didcot A power station is being demolished after 42 years in order to meet a European Union directive to cut carbon emissions.

The demolition of the three southern cooling towers on July 27 will be followed by more explosions to clear the site in the next two years.

The main power station buildings will be blown up in four explosions in mid-2015.

The northern cooling towers will be brought down in early 2016, but NPower said it will decide what method to use based on how well this year’s demolition goes.

More explosions in 2016 will clear the site.

NPower said: “We understand that the power station has been part of the local community for over 42 years and for many people the demolition of these first three cooling towers will mark a significant day for Didcot and Oxfordshire.”

TIMELINE

  • 1970 – Didcot A Coal-fired power station starts operating
  • 2008 – A European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive is issued, requiring it to stop generating power after 20,000 more hours of operation.
  • 2012 – The closure is officially announced in September
  • 2013 – Power shuts down at 2pm on March 22
  • 2014 – The two-year demolition project begins

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Comments (14)

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9:00am Tue 24 Jun 14

jean100_8 says...

would like to be given some sort of time when this his going to happen, have lived with this all my life, it will be a sad day to see them go from the landmark in the area, perhaps we can be given some time nearer the day
would like to be given some sort of time when this his going to happen, have lived with this all my life, it will be a sad day to see them go from the landmark in the area, perhaps we can be given some time nearer the day jean100_8
  • Score: 14

9:03am Tue 24 Jun 14

livid99 says...

"“ do not want thousands of people turning up to watch the towers come down"
Why not ? Who gives this woman the right to decide whether local people see the demolition of a major local landmark ??
Obviously safety is important, but why are they deliberately trying to stop people see it happen ?
"“[We] do not want thousands of people turning up to watch the towers come down" Why not ? Who gives this woman the right to decide whether local people see the demolition of a major local landmark ?? Obviously safety is important, but why are they deliberately trying to stop people see it happen ? livid99
  • Score: 22

10:24am Tue 24 Jun 14

ashleyc says...

Sounds counter-intuitive to me. Surely it's easier to ensure people are safe if there is clear information and a co-ordinated plan in place?
Sounds counter-intuitive to me. Surely it's easier to ensure people are safe if there is clear information and a co-ordinated plan in place? ashleyc
  • Score: 19

10:52am Tue 24 Jun 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Can't see where "safety" comes into it. Can't they afford the rope to keep folk out of the danger zone? In any event if there's an unexpected big bang early one morning and a pit-bull goes demented in a house with children....
"Coal-fired Didcot A power station is being demolished after 42 years in order to meet a European Union directive to cut carbon emissions"
Please let us be out of this monstrosity before we've sacrificed all generating capacity
Can't see where "safety" comes into it. Can't they afford the rope to keep folk out of the danger zone? In any event if there's an unexpected big bang early one morning and a pit-bull goes demented in a house with children.... "Coal-fired Didcot A power station is being demolished after 42 years in order to meet a European Union directive to cut carbon emissions" Please let us be out of this monstrosity before we've sacrificed all generating capacity Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 8

11:23am Tue 24 Jun 14

Canismajoris says...

Bah Humbug.
Bah Humbug. Canismajoris
  • Score: 0

11:53am Tue 24 Jun 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

So they much rather scare the living daylights out of South Oxfordshire sometime that morning with a loud explosion, resulting in emergency calls to police and callouts etc etc rather than broadcast even a rough time?? not very good idea nPower.
So they much rather scare the living daylights out of South Oxfordshire sometime that morning with a loud explosion, resulting in emergency calls to police and callouts etc etc rather than broadcast even a rough time?? not very good idea nPower. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 14

12:10pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Derek_Bradshaw says...

Time to start a campaign to get them to release the timings.
@colemanandco & @npowerhq #secretsquirrel

Ridiculous that they have to try and hide it. I am sure they would hack more locals off by doing it at some ridiculous hour and waking everyone up. Than letting us all know so that we can watch these local icons come down majestically and at a decent hour.
Time to start a campaign to get them to release the timings. @colemanandco & @npowerhq #secretsquirrel Ridiculous that they have to try and hide it. I am sure they would hack more locals off by doing it at some ridiculous hour and waking everyone up. Than letting us all know so that we can watch these local icons come down majestically and at a decent hour. Derek_Bradshaw
  • Score: 8

2:39pm Tue 24 Jun 14

LukeDuke says...

I can understand the need to do it in the early(ish) hours - imagine the mayhem on the A34 going past the site when that lot comes down... rubber-necking heaven!
The hard-core lovers and haters will camp out regardless. I'll be there, will miss the old steamer.
I can understand the need to do it in the early(ish) hours - imagine the mayhem on the A34 going past the site when that lot comes down... rubber-necking heaven! The hard-core lovers and haters will camp out regardless. I'll be there, will miss the old steamer. LukeDuke
  • Score: 1

8:01am Wed 25 Jun 14

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

I've scoped out my spot (top secret) and plan on getting down there for dawn and taking a large breakfast picnic to see out the morning. Fingers crossed for sunshine.
I've scoped out my spot (top secret) and plan on getting down there for dawn and taking a large breakfast picnic to see out the morning. Fingers crossed for sunshine. ## Nonny Mouse ##
  • Score: 2

8:39am Wed 25 Jun 14

Feelingsmatter says...

Done a recce, found my spot, champagne's on ice! Npower are a bunch of t*ssers.
Done a recce, found my spot, champagne's on ice! Npower are a bunch of t*ssers. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 3

12:24pm Wed 25 Jun 14

paddy173 says...

I find it hard to believe that Npower will be allowed to set of demolition charges that early in the morning without notification to residents and local industry.
If someone was doing DIY at that time the council would be out in force.
NPower stop being idiots and tell everyone when you are going to do this.

We should start a telephone campaign to the head office and tie up their exchange
I find it hard to believe that Npower will be allowed to set of demolition charges that early in the morning without notification to residents and local industry. If someone was doing DIY at that time the council would be out in force. NPower stop being idiots and tell everyone when you are going to do this. We should start a telephone campaign to the head office and tie up their exchange paddy173
  • Score: 4

5:00pm Wed 25 Jun 14

OfficerDibble8 says...

Miserly miseries! We're not stupid enough to put ourselves in danger...just want to see it happen, even from a distance.
Miserly miseries! We're not stupid enough to put ourselves in danger...just want to see it happen, even from a distance. OfficerDibble8
  • Score: 5

7:37am Thu 26 Jun 14

tinsel84 says...

I would have thought South and Vale council would know, and surely a FOI request could make them tell us. Only then they'd prob call it off at the last minute with some feeble excuse.

As my dad suggested, I'm sure they could do the job a lot more quickly, cheaply and spectacularly with an Apache gunship from RAF Benson. ;)
I would have thought South and Vale council would know, and surely a FOI request could make them tell us. Only then they'd prob call it off at the last minute with some feeble excuse. As my dad suggested, I'm sure they could do the job a lot more quickly, cheaply and spectacularly with an Apache gunship from RAF Benson. ;) tinsel84
  • Score: 2

11:04am Fri 27 Jun 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

It shouldnt be too hard to figure out what time frame it will be happening anyway, all you need to look out for is the timings of the road closures in the area near to the site, these will be posted on the county council website along with times of closures/organisatio
n requesting it etc...

Personally the best place to watch it is old Mother Dunches buttocks - Wittenham clumps
It shouldnt be too hard to figure out what time frame it will be happening anyway, all you need to look out for is the timings of the road closures in the area near to the site, these will be posted on the county council website along with times of closures/organisatio n requesting it etc... Personally the best place to watch it is old Mother Dunches buttocks - Wittenham clumps yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 1

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