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Tue November 28 2023

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Didcot cooling towers come down

19 Aug 19 The final three cooling towers and Didcot power station were brought down by controlled explosion at 7am Sunday morning by demolition contractor Brown & Mason.

Photos by Clare Swan
Photos by Clare Swan

For more than an hour, 40,000 local households were left without power after stray debris caused a pylon to catch fire, ensuring unwelcome news headlines once again for the project.

A spokesman for SSEN said: "During the demolition, a large section of debris protection material became detached from one of the cooling towers and made contact with our 33kV overhead line, which was outside of the advised perimeter. This resulted in significant damage to the overhead line and subsequent network faults.

"We are in contact with the station owner, RWE, to support them in their incident investigation alongside our own internal review into the network fault."

Didcot demolition work previously made the news in February 2016 after the boiler house collapsed uncontrollably while being prepared for demolition. Four employees of Coleman & Company, the site’s previous demolition contractor, were killed. Brown & Mason subsequently took over to complete the job.

Three other cooling towers on site were brought down in 2014. The 200-metre high chimney stack is scheduled for demolition in the autumn.

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