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Electric Shut-down in London on July 29

Nature volume 134, page 245 (18 August 1934) | Download Citation



A STATEMENT has now been issued by the Central Electricity Board on the failure of the supply in south-east and east England on Sunday, July 29. In this the Board refers to the joint report of the engineers of the C.E.B. and the London Power Company. The engineers state that they have explored every avenue which might elucidate the general failure, and in their opinion there is only one cause which could fully explain it. It must have been the breakdown of one of the turbines at the Deptford West Station of the London Power Company. The Board states that the system has always, even on Sunday loading, sufficient margin of plant in operation to make good immediately the loss of the largest station's output to the system, and it has also sufficient spare plant ready to be put into operation to maintain that margin against the unlikely contingency of a second station breaking down; but the Board had not considered what would happen if two major stations shut down simultaneously. The Sunday disposition of the generating plant had not allowed for this contingency. If such an abnormal event had happened on a week day, the arrangement of the plant is such that a widespread failure could have been avoided. The Board is satisfied that such a combination of untoward circumstances is not likely to recur and there need be no apprehension of any such general failure in the future.

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