Stubborn stack stays upright…

Three out of four ain’t bad. It ain’t great either!

The remnants of more than 50 years of coal-generated power production in Moapa came crashing down in a huge cloud of dust last week. Most of what was left of the Reid Gardner Power Station was imploded.

Demolition crews contracted by Reid Gardner owner NV Energy, initiated a final countdown at around 7:30 pm local time. They then ignited explosive charges meant to bring down the boiler structures of Units 1-3 and all four smoke stacks at the decommissioned plant.

But all did not go entirely according to plan. The smokestack for Unit 4, the largest and tallest of the structures, teetered slightly in the explosion, but remained standing. When the dust had cleared, the approximately 250-foot-tall structure was the only implosion target left standing, though it was leaning slightly northward.

“The demolition contractor is still doing an evaluation to determine the condition of the structure,” said NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht in an interview Friday morning. “They did determine that the explosives all detonated. Now they are doing an assessment on what needs to be done next.”

Preparations for the implosion were extensive and took months. Since early in 2018, demolition contractor Remedial Construction Services (RECON) has been systematically dismantling the coal burning plant which was decommissioned in February 2017. They had torn out all the concrete, wiring, steel, fixtures, auxiliary buildings and anything else that was not necessary to give structural support to the huge boilers at the heart of the four units.

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