Seaweed disrupts Torness output

Torness Power Station, near Dunbar,
Torness Power Station, near Dunbar,

One of Torness Power Station’s two reactors has been shut down - by seaweed.

Reactor one at the nuclear power station on the East Lothian coastline was shut down at about 8.45am this morning, Thursday, November 24.

The unit was automatically tripped due to seaweed at seawater intake and the seaweed began to threaten a cooling water inlet at the power station near Dunbar.

EDF Energy, who run the plant, said: “One of the reactors at Torness Power Station came offline this morning due to an increase in seaweed levels as a result of the weather conditions in the area.

“We are currently monitoring the weather and the seaweed levels and will confirm once we have returned the unit to service.

“We know that at certain times of year particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth Estuary can lead to increased seaweed volumes, which can enter the station’s cooling water intake system.

“Our staff are trained to respond in this situation, and to take the plant offline if necessary.

“In addition, the plant’s safety systems monitor conditions like this and will take the unit offline automatically, should levels rise beyond prescribed settings, ensuring safety at all times.”

The reactors expected return to service is currently estimated to be on Tuesday, November 29.