28 Apr 21

Torness reactor back online following £25m outage

One of the reactors at Torness power station is back generating low carbon electricity following a successful maintenance period.

Reactor 1, at the EDF station, has returned to service following a £25m investment programme during which more than 14,000 separate pieces of work were carried out.

A number of important projects were successfully completed including the replacement of the low-pressure turbine rotor, turbine valve inspections and detailed inspections of the graphite core.

At its peak, more than 850 people were present on site including visiting contractors. Despite this, both industrial and Covid safety were maintained.

Covid was a particular focus of this outage, which had been postponed from summer 2020 to allow for better arrangements to be introduced nationally and at site.

EDF acted early to introduce stringent protective measures including social distancing, mandatory face masks, thermographic cameras and working from home, where possible, which have helped keep on-site rates consistently low.

The company also invested in mass testing capability and required visiting contractors to register a negative test before entering site as well as at least weekly testing for all those working there.

Station Director, Tam Albishawi, said: “Outages are always planned scrupulously to ensure they run well and we took the same approach to managing Covid during an outage.

"As well as putting in place a strict testing regime, we ensured the enforcement of social distancing, regular hand washing and mandatory mask wearing on site. I am glad that the measures we put in place kept rates so low keeping people on site and in the community safe.

"In addition to tackling the usual big maintenance projects the team have also inspected the reactor's graphite core as part on an on-going inspection programme happening at each of our station and these checks have confirmed that all is as expected.

"Everyone involved worked really hard to make sure we were able to deliver one of our best ever outages and I am delighted that the unit is back online and helping Britain achieve net zero.”

In 2020 Torness power station generated enough low carbon electricity to power 2.6 million homes; that is more than the number of households in Scotland. The station employs more than 500 full time staff and around 250 full time contract partners to ensure the safe reliable generation of electricity.