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Torness outage brings boost to East Lothian

By EDF | Posted May 09, 2022

Businesses in East Lothian are set to benefit from a major maintenance outage at Torness power station near Dunbar.

Operators at the EDF site took one of the station’s two units offline on 7th May to carry out a major maintenance programme worth £34.8 million. This 10 week outage is like an MOT for the unit, allowing work to be carried out that cannot take place while the reactor is switched on. It is a statutory requirement to allow continued generation of zero carbon electricity from the site.

More than 800 extra workers will join the 750 strong workforce for the maintenance period, which is known as a “statutory outage”.

EDF carries out a statutory outage on each of its reactors every three years. These are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.  The other reactor at Torness is due to continue operating normally throughout the period.

During the outage workers will carry out more than 13,000 separate pieces of work – each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation. The biggest projects include two gas circulator exchanges, exchange of the turbine generator rotor and extensive graphite inspections.

Station Director, Paul Forrest, said: “This will be the 24th statutory outage we have carried out at the station. We are very well practised at them and over the years, we have built great relationships with the extra workers who come and support us during the outages.  These workers will be staying in local hotels and B&Bs, eating in the area’s restaurants and using taxi firms. It is great that our investment in the power station can also benefit our local community.” 

“Torness is designated as critical national infrastructure. We have been quietly helping to keep the lights on throughout the pandemic and this outage is part of the work we need to carry out to keep doing this. 

“The last statutory outage took place during the height of the pandemic when lockdown restrictions were still in place. We took the safety of our workers and the community seriously and put a range of protective measures in place. While the circumstances as we enter this outage are different we will continue to reinforce the importance of regular handwashing, social distancing and mask-wearing on site. All the medical advice we are receiving supports this as the most effective actions against Covid-19.”

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