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.”


  • 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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