AT least three of Didcot A’s iconic cooling towers are expected be blasted to smithereens.
And the man who switched off the power station after nearly 43 years back in March has offered to do the honours.
Until now, station managers have not revealed how they plan to take down the six 325ft towers.
But last night they said they plan to blow up the three nearer to Didcot itself and the tall chimney first, while the towers closer to Sutton Courtenay will either be exploded or taken down gradually.
A nine-month decommissioning process for the coal-fired power station began on March 31.
Phil Noake, 60, power station manager since June last year, said: “The southern cooling towers and chimney will be demolished before the northern cooling towers, and it is likely that they (southern) will be demolished using traditional explosive methods.
“The decommissioning of the A station is progressing very well with the removal of coal, oil, chemicals and gases.
“We have successfully disconnected the station from the National Grid and are working on additional areas that need decommissioning.
“We are in detailed negotiations with a demolition company with the intention to announce the successful one during the summer.”
Dressed in the boiler suit he once wore for the former Central Energy Generating Board, pensioner Lyn Bowen, 73, pressed the button to switch off the power station for good.
Yesterday he said he would love to detonate the first tower.
“I haven’t been asked yet but I would be prepared to do it,” said the father-of-two from East Hanney near Wantage.
“I don’t think the power station should have closed – we need all the energy we can get.”
RWE npower spokesman Kelly Brown said residents and local authorities have been consulted about the demolition process during the past six months.
The towers could be blown up by the end of 2014.
She said: “With the progressive method the towers will be taken down in stages, starting at the top.”
Town council leader Margaret Davies said: “People in Didcot will be fascinated to hear that at least three of the cooling towers are going out with a bang.
“It will be a great spectacle and I’m sure thousands will turn out to see it, even if they have to watch from quite a distance.”
It is expected that part of the site will be used for employment rather than housing, while gas-fired Didcot B power station, which employs about 80 people, will remain on site.
About 210 staff worked at Didcot A. Seventy were kept on for decommissioning, 40 given other roles, and 100 made redundant.