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expert reaction to major incident declared following a possible explosion or building collapse at Didcot Power Station

Parts of Didcot A power station have reportedly collapsed during decommissioning, with a major incident declared.

 

Prof. Jon Gibbins, Professor of Power Plant Engineering and Carbon Capture, University of Sheffield, said:

“It is possible that the dust itself shown in the pictures either caused or contributed to the apparent explosion. Even quite innocuous-looking coal dust left over in odd corners could ignite if swept up into a cloud near a heat source, such as metal cutting, and the resulting rush of air could then pick up more dust to fuel the process.

“In normal operation these risks are very tightly controlled so this is a very sad event indeed at a power plant that prided itself on, and achieved, very high safety standards throughout its operating life.”

 

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