When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
7:30am Friday 12th January 2007 in Letters
Sir - RWE npower (in the shape of John Rainford, manager of Didcot A Power Station) has repeatedly said that there is 'no alternative' to dumping 500,000 tonnes of waste ash, from the power station, into a county wildlife site at Thrupp Lake, Radley. But is this really true? It is worth looking at the facts.
Mr Rainford has made much of the need for a '24/7' disposal facility, claiming that pumping the ash to Radley is the only way to achieve this.
In fact, RWE npower has admitted to the county council that '24/7' disposal can be achieved (and is being achieved) simply by putting ash into the stockpile beside the power station.
RWE npower has also been disposing of ash at the Sutton Courtenay landfill site, right next to the power station.
Some of this material is used to cap household waste going into the landfill site, but, in 2006, RWE npower virtually doubled the amount of ash being dumped at Sutton Courtenay: from around 50,000 tonnes per year, to nearly 100,000 tonnes per year.
The increase is broadly similar to the annual amount of ash that would have gone to Radley. It therefore appears that RWE npower has already been using the Sutton Courtenay landfill site as an alternative to Thrupp Lake.
If that is so, then Mr Rainford's claims, of 'no alternative' to using Thrupp Lake, collapse. RWE npower bought Thrupp Lake for £3.2m, without getting planning permission first. If they don't get permission, they've wasted that money.
The public is entitled to know the truth. Hopefully, we can look to Mr Rainford to provide it.
Mark Wren, Radley