Torness offline for its biggest outage to date

Torness nuclear power station Unit 1 was taken offline last week for its tenth major outage - and the biggest yet!

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 16th February 2014, 5:35 am
Torness power station.
Torness power station.

An outage at a power station is similar to a car having an MOT and service but on a much bigger scale.

Each of the two generating units at Torness is taken safely offline every three years for routine inspection and maintenance work where engineers will take the opportunity to carry out a number of improvement projects on the site at the same time.

The outage is the culmination of two years of meticulous planning. More than 13,000 separate pieces of work are scheduled to be completed during this outage, with a total spend of over £30 million.

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Major plant investment projects include the replacement of a generator transformer, an increased fuel channel inspection programme and the exchange of turbine and generator rotors. All this work will make sure the power station can continue to provide electricity for more than two million homes in Scotland.

The number of workers on site will more than double with around 500 specialist workers brought in to assist Torness staff with the work scheduled to be carried out whilst the station is offline. Local suppliers are set to take a share in contracts worth tens of thousands of pounds to the local economy.

Amongst the local firms set to benefit is ITEC, an engineering and construction specialist in East Lothian. Other local companies like The Rocks in Dunbar will be amongst many hotels, caravan parks and B and B’s looking after contractors while they are based at the station.

Paul Winkle, Torness Station director said: “Once again Torness will turn to a number of local firms, with whom we have a tried and trusted relationship, to provide essential services during this outage.

“We are impressed by the high standards of the companies we work with and the quality of their workmanship. These companies will work alongside specialist firms from across the world who are leaders in their field.”

Torness power station has been generating enough power for more than two million homes since it started operating in 1988. The station employs more than 500 staff to ensure the safe reliable generation of power.

August 2013 saw Torness clocking up 200TWh of low carbon electricity generated since it connected to the grid in 1988. Putting this into perspective this amount of power has avoided around 130 million tonnes of CO2 , the same as taking all of the passenger cars off the UK’s roads for two years.