Report 3rd May 2011

Visit to Drax Power Station

Sixteen members travelled to Drax by mini-bus or car and enjoyed a very professional presentation and site tour from four staff based in their “Learning Centre”.

For those of us used to seeing Drax on the far horizon from Green Lane. Harrogate or Garrowby Hill in the Wolds, the site of the enormous chimney and 12 massive cooling towers close up was tremendously impressive.

Drax is the largest coal-fired power station in Western Europe, employs 700 people (although we saw scarcely two dozen) and its perimeter fence is longer than that at Heathrow.

After a talk, video and diagrammatic explanation followed by refreshments, we were taken by coach around the site and saw the eco-friendly use of biomass, the nature reserve open to the public twice a week and the massive ash pulverisation mill and turbine hall. Three and a half hours passed amazingly quickly. After a sandwich lunch and general discussion with our hosts, our newly elected chairman, Roy Howard, thanked Pauline and the other staff for their expertise.

Apologies to members travelling by mini-bus from Harrogate for the delay in departure. The mini-bus owned by Happy Wanderers is normally used for disabled people in wheelchairs and insufficient seats had been placed in the vehicle, causing the driver to return to base and a delay of 30 minutes. Nevertheless we arrived at Drax on time and members seemed to agree that it had been a worthwhile and memorable outing.

John Taylor

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