Why you should be concerned!
It's my home too!  Where will I live?

and me!

In 1982 they decided they needed to dispose of ash to landfill and four lakes were filled.  Later lakes were filled but the Authorities insisted that clay bunds be used to prevent leachate.  This meant huge construction effort was required, with further damage to the lake-side environment.  These bunds are compromising the floodplain.  RWE NPower who took over the operation of Didcot Power Station have, during their tenure, dumped more ash than the original estimates made by the CEGB who were the original body responsible for the Power Station.

In the course of trying to prevent the destruction of these Lakes, we have discovered that PFA is far from as safe is it has been purported to be, particularly when considered in the light of the huge quantities involved (several millions of tonnes) and the location of the site.

The ash contains significant concentrations of heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium) including some that are radioactive (uranium) concentrated by the burning process.  These heavy metals are available to plants growing in the ash. These can be eaten by insects, birds and animals.  The contaminants are also bio-accumulative, which means that concentrations progressively become magnified. A significant component is water soluble. (2-5% is the figure given) This component, whatever it is is flowing directly into the Thames as runoff and is concentrated in leachate seeping from the lakes.

The pure ash is highly toxic to species of mollusc and lugworm, used as pollution indicators.

The problem of ash composition and contamination is compounded by the fact that coal is now sourced from anywhere in the world.

Local people are outraged. The people involved in this campaign are not environmental fanatics. In fact we are ordinary local people from all walks of life.  No-one involved has done anything like this before. We all share a passion that these lakes should not be destroyed.

Friends of the Earth have stated Didcot Power Station is one of the Dinosaurs responsible for pollution.

It is interesting that Didcot B Power Station, fuelled by Gas, has problems with its turbines which generate the electricity because they bought untried technology - it was cheap - we heard it from their own lips at the Institution of Electrical Engineers Lecture on Tuesday 21st February 2006.  So, Didcot A is filling the gap left by Didcot B, and also because Gas is more expensive (but cleaner) they are also using Didcot A in preference because of the cheap electricity it can generate from cheap coal! 

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prepared by A Water Vole and Friends of Radley Lakes