Torness nuclear reactor shut amid seaweed threat

Seaweed threat: Torness nuclear power station. Picture: Stuart Cobley/TSPL
Seaweed threat: Torness nuclear power station. Picture: Stuart Cobley/TSPL
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A Scottish nuclear power station shutdown last week after seaweed threatened to clog its cooling system has started generating electricity again.

• Seaweed has forced nuclear reactor at Torness to remain closed

• Severe weather blamed for clogging threat

One of two reactors at the Torness plant near Dunbar in East Lothian was switched back on yesterday morning.

Its second reactor remains closed with plant owner EDF Energy saying today that it was due to be restored within “a few days”.

Both reactors were taken offline within hours of each other overnight last Thursday in a bid to stop seaweed getting into the power station’s safety mechanisms.

Unusually high levels of seaweed around the plant are thought to have been caused by recent severe weather conditions in the Forth estuary.

The company said the closure had not posed any danger because the power system was designed to be shut on and off in such circumstances.

A spokeswoman for EDF said: “Unit 2 at Torness power station was resynchronised to the grid at 06:33 on Monday... The unit came offline [last] Thursday... due to increased seaweed levels as a result of the severe weather and sea conditions in the area.”

In 2011 Torness was shutdown because of a swarm of jellyfish near the station.

WWF Scotland said that nuclear power had “once again proven itself unreliable”.

Director Lang Banks said: “We should all be thankful that Scotland has grown its renewable energy capacity enough to be able to deal with Torness nuclear power station going offline without warning.

“As we tap into ever more of our huge renewable resource, we look forward to the day Scotland can switch off nuclear power for good.”


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