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Major fire breaks out at Didcot Power Station

An investigation is being conducted into the cause of a fire at Didcot B Power Station in Oxfordshire.

The blaze broke out at around 8pm on Sunday evening and was brought under control just after 10pm.

The fire began in one of the two cooling tower modules, which supplies cooling water to one of the two generating units at Didcot B. RWE Generation stated that “50 per cent of the station output has been affected at this moment in time”.

It continued: “The affected part of the site will remain non-operational until an investigation and repairs can take place. It is too early to give any definitive estimate of how long this will be.”

Around 25 fire engines and 100 firefighters tackled the fire at its peak, according to the BBC.

The fire brigade will reamin on site during Monday morning for a handover of the cooling towers back to the local RWE team. No injuries were recorded to either the emergency services or RWE personnel.

Didcot B is adjacent to, but separate from, the decommissioned site of Didcot A, which is currently being demolished by Coleman & Company.

A spokeswoman from RWE confirmed that the fire had not affected the Didcot A demolition site.

RWE also said that the affected part of the power station was “immediately and safely shut down” and that the second generating module at Didcot B is “running normally”.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “First, I want to thank the emergency services who are at Didcot working to tackle the blaze.

“I’ve been reassured by National Grid that there is no risk to electricity supplies.

“I will be keeping in touch with the relevant authorities throughout. My priority is to understand the cause of the fire and get the affected unit back generating electricity as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue will now investigate the cause of the blaze, which was first reported by a member of the public.

The natural-gas-fired station has been in commercial operation since 1997 and can produce 1,360MW of power, enough to supply up to 1m homes.

Blowdown at Didcot A

Construction News was on site for the blowdown of three cooling towers at Didcot A Power Station earlier this year. Read the full project report here.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Greg Thomas

    Knock down a perfectly serviceable power station less than 40 years old and replce it with one made of wood. Great idea!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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