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Didcot A: Countdown to power shutdown begins
IN seven days’ time, Didcot A Power Station will be shut down and plumes of steam will no longer billow from its six iconic cooling towers.
Power generation was to finish on Sunday, March 31, but RWE npower then announced it would stop producing electricity at Didcot A next Friday.
RWE npower spokesman Kelly Brown said: “At 2.30pm, the unit will be desynchronised and will no longer transport electricity to the National Grid.
“There will be a live feed from the control room to the canteen where staff will gather to see the final desychronisation.
“During the last few hours, Didcot A will switch to gas as part of the shut-down. Over the next week, it will be business as usual and there will be nothing dramatically different, but we want to extend our thanks to the wider community and to all the people who have worked for us over the past 42 years.”
Ms Brown added that a message of thanks would be projected on to the cooling towers.
Steam has billowed from the iconic 325ft cooling towers for more than 40 years and Didcot A currently employs about 200 people.
Npower took the move to close the coal-powered station as part of the shift towards gas-powered stations.
In 2008 it opted out of a EU directive which sets limits on emissions, meaning it could only operate for a further 20,000 hours. It will be demolished, through this is not expected for several years.
Didcot A first generated electricity in 1970. Gas-fired Didcot B power station, which opened in 1997, will continue to operate.
Decommissioning will not start until March 31, with some staff kept on for the six-month process.
Some will be redeployed within the company while others are being made redundant.
Didcot Town Council leader Margaret Davies said: “Those six simmering steampots will finally stop producing steam, and then people will realise that the end has really arrived.
“To see those cooling towers inactive will be quite remarkable. There’s a lot of emotion attached to the power station because a lot of people have worked there over the years and it’s a powerful image of productivity.”