Residents letter -Didcot A Power Station building collapse and demolition update

We wanted to take the opportunity to update you on the partial collapse at the Didcot A Power Station. As you are no doubt aware in February this year during the preparation for demolition of the boiler house, part of the structure collapsed, tragically taking the life of one man and leaving three others missing. Our priority since then has been to recover the three men involved in this terrible accident as quickly and as safely as possible.

To do this, we must bring down the remaining section of the boiler house. Because it is unsafe to go close to the remaining building, we have not had usual access to the building to fully assess conditions or place demolition charges manually, and as a result, the demolition design has been extremely complicated.

Together with our contractors, we have developed a unique demolition method to try and overcome these complexities. This method, which has been developed and tested specifically for use at the Didcot site, uses remote operated vehicles (ROVs) to place demolition charges at precise places at the base of the building’s columns.

The detailed methodology for this robotic demolition has been  completed. It has since been thoroughly reviewed and tested by independent experts and discussed with the families of the missing men. After consultation with the Health and Safety Executive, the plan has now been accepted by the Multi-agency Strategic Coordination.

On 11 July our contractor will begin to prepare the building for the controlled explosive demolition. This process will take around up to two weeks. We will give 48 hours’ notice of the exact date and approximate timing of demolition.

The exclusion zone for the demolition is within the Didcot A Power Station boundary fence. However, to ensure safety of all concerned some road closures will be required for up to two hours: a small section of the A4130 will be closed between the railway bridge and Southmead Industrial Estate, and Milton Road will be closed between the railway bridge and the traffic lights. Road diversions will be in place throughout the road closures.

The remaining structure is made mostly of steel and the explosion and collapse may be heard off site, however any noise will be over in under a minute. It is possible that there will be airborne dust, this is not harmful but could cause a nuisance. We would recommend keeping doors and windows closed to minimise noise and dust nuisance.

Road sweepers and road cleaners will be on hand should they be required. If you have any concerns following the demolition please contact 0845 077 0150.

Emergency services have been informed and will be in attendance on site for the duration of the demolition.

As soon as the building has been brought down and an inspection confirms the area is safe, our demolition contractor will immediately mobilise to resume the recovery operation.

Yours sincerely

Didcot A demolition team