2 Jun 15

Update on Hunterston B

EDF Energy took the decision to take Unit* 3 at Hunterston B power station offline at 18.40 on 1 June as a precaution due to high levels of seaweed in the waters around the power station's water intake system. The station's second unit continues to operate at a reduced load.

Additional information was shared today in a letter to the Hunterston Site Stakeholder Group:

Hunterston B power station’s reactor 3 was manually shut down at 18.40 on Monday 1 June due to severe seaweed ingress, accompanied by strong winds and storm surges.

This was done as a precautionary measure when it was clear that the seaweed levels weren’t reducing. Reactor 4 was also reduced in power and remains operating at a reduced power. We are currently monitoring the weather and the seaweed levels and when we confirm we are in a stable state we will increase power on Reactor 4 to nominal full load and also return reactor 3 to service.

We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Firth of Clyde seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling water intake system.

Our operational staff are well trained to respond in this situation and to take the plant offline if necessary. In addition, the many-layered safety systems monitor conditions like this and the plant’s inbuilt mechanisms will take the unit offline automatically, should levels rise beyond prescribed settings, ensuring optimum safety at all times.

Cooling to the reactor was maintained at all times and there are no health, safety or environmental impacts.

Hunterston B power station has generated low carbon electricity since 1976 and continues to provide enough electricity for 1.7 million homes.

 *A unit refers to one of the reactors at the power station and one of its generating turbines.

For more information contact:

Lindsey Ingram
Media Officer - Scotland
01355 846283
07813 230379

EDF Energy in Scotland

In Scotland EDF Energy operates Hunterston B in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian which employ over 1,000 staff and around 500 contracting partners across the two power stations. EDF Energy employs a further 200 office based staff in East Kilbride.  As well as generating enough power to serve some 4 million homes the company also provides gas and electricity to over 80,000 Scottish customers with around half of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation. We operate two windfarms in the Scottish Borders and make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use. EDF Energy is proud to power up some of the largest organisations in the UK, including supplying almost all public sector bodies in Scotland with after being awarded Scotland’s largest electricity supply contract by annual volume from April 2013. Following a landmark agreement with Network Rail the company also provides nuclear-backed Blue energy to power up the UKs electric rail network, covering most of the south east of England and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.