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Didcot protest over - 20 arrested

watt | 28.10.2009 09:44 | COP15 Climate Summit 2009 | Climate Chaos | Energy Crisis | Other Press | Oxford

At 4.30 am, the nine occupiers of the chimney stack at Didcot power station came down and were immediately arrested. That brings the total arrests to 20, after the 11 locked on to the coal conveyors were arrested in the first 24 hours.

The power company npower claimed in articles published by the BBC that the protests had not affected the output of the power station. This is highly missleading at least or an outright lie. Earlier reports quoted national grid online status reports which showed that Didcot stopped providing power to the grid on the first day of the action.

"RWE npower’s 2,000-megawatt plant in Oxfordshire, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of London and able to run on coal or gas, stopped producing power yesterday evening, according to National Grid Plc data. "

“The mild weather has reduced prices to a level that is below what would be economical to sell the units forward,” John Rainford, Didcot’s station manager, said in an e-mailed statement today. “However, the plant is fully fueled with coal, being kept warm and ready. If grid requires it on short notice in the balancing mechanism we will run it.”

Typical media spin - the company would like people to think the action was ineffectual. The fact however is that the company stopped generating and selling power and instead ran the plant at idle during the protest in order to keep it producing flue gases and thereby prevent those on the chimney from occupying the flue. Had the protesters been able to occupy the flue, they'd have been able to keep the company from restarting the power station for as long as the protesters could maintain their occupation.

This protest (though it recieved very little coverage considering the audacity of the action) has been a major success and drives home a very powerful message to the entire fossil fuel burning energy sector - we can't be stopped by your fences and security and we're not just targetting e-on!