Aberthaw Power Station - Surveying

RPS delivered a range of services during the decommissioning of Aberthaw Power Station. These services spanned Topographical, Watercourse & Utility Clearance Surveys, Hydrology services, Unexploded Ordinance Surveys and Land Contamination Ground Investigation services to name but a few.


RWE Generation UK plc (RWE) commissioned RPS to carry out a full 3D Topographical Survey of Aberthaw Power Station and the adjacent Ash Mound as well as a Hydrographical Survey of the River Thaw.  The Power Station is currently being decommissioned and this survey will support the potential sale of the site.

The team also undertook PAS128 Underground Utility Clearance Surveys of over 60 locations around the site to enable the safe completion of borehole and trial pits for the ground investigation survey.

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During the delivery of these Surveys, 150 Hectares of land and watercourse was surveyed.

A comprehensive watercourse survey was required over c.2kms to support the RPS Hydrology team prepare models for a flood risk assessment.  The Power station and Ash Mound site is bisected by the River Thaw and as such, posed a challenge to the delivery of the project. A section of the river is canalised which meant that there was a significant health and safety risk regarding both access and data collection. In addition, the watercourse is tidal bringing further issues for manoeuvring along the area by boat.


Working together with external contractors to address the hydrographical surveying elements of this project, the survey team were assisted on site by a specialist watercourse safety team who provided safe access and egress as well as putting a comprehensive rescue plan in place. The structures were surveyed using laser scanning technology at low tide to limit site time and a remote-control catamaran mounted sonar system was deployed to capture bed level data where suitable.


All topographical, watercourse & utility clearance surveys were completed on time and within budget, and most importantly without incident on a site that posed a number of health and safety challenges. All underground utilities were avoided during the ground investigation works within an area containing multiple services.

Further services provided by RPS

At RPS we solve problems that matter and continue to adapt to the complex world we live in to deliver innovative solutions to meet our client’s needs. Working together across several specialist disciplines has allowed RPS to achieve value and seamless delivery of this decommissioning project to RWE Generation UK plc. The services provided on this project include:

  • Ground investigation and land contamination risk assessment services to determine the potential for contamination to be present within the soil and groundwater
  • Bespoke fluvial and tidal modelling services to assess the flood risk posed to the prospective development site
  • Cultural Heritage Desktop Surveys to examine the archaeology and history of the Aberthaw site
  • Transport planning services to provide advice to RWE on the potential impacts of demolition traffic on the local roads and routes to motorway network
  • Data services to collate all utilities records for the site

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