Sir, In your report of December 21, John Rainford, manager of Didcot A Power Station, suggests that it is not technically feasible to dispose of waste pulverised fuel ash (PFA) from Didcot in the Sutton Courtenay landfill site, which is right beside the power station.
In fact, Didcot Power Station is already disposing of its ash at Sutton Courtenay. In July 2006, the power station had increased its rate of PFA disposal at Sutton from about 50,000 tonnes a year to the equivalent of 96,000 tonnes a year. I think the extra 46,000 tonnes a year is almost certainly the ash which would have been dumped in Thrupp Lake at Radley, if that plan had not encountered various delays.
So, why not just keep on disposing of the ash at Sutton Courtenay, and save Thrupp Lake? A letter from RWE npower to Oxfordshire County Council on July 6, 2006, (a few days before the county planning committee meeting that decided to give permission for dumping at Radley) gives the game away. The letter says that the cost per tonne of disposing of Didcot's ash at Sutton Courtenay would be about twice the cost of disposal in Thrupp Lake.
So, there we have it. All the talk of no alternatives, of the need for a 24/7 ash disposal capability, of securing the electricity supply for two million homes, is just so much spin.
Didcot's ash could be, and already is being, disposed of in the landfill site at Sutton Courtenay, but it is simply cheaper for RWE npower to dump it in Thrupp Lake (which is a county wildlife site). Profits for RWE npower's foreign shareholders or conserving our environment and wildlife? There is no contest, really, is there?
Lynda Pasquire Shaws Copse Radley