GMB Scotland – the trade union for the energy industry – has welcomed the operating life extension for Torness to 2030 which it said demonstrates that Scotland is and will remain dependent on nuclear power for base load electricity.
Gary Smith, Secretary, GMB Scotland, said: “We have a good low carbon mix in Scotland but renewables are intermittent and we need nuclear as part of the mix.
Since the start of winter 2015/16 – since the beginning of October to end Jan 2016 – there has been 14 days when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK have produced 10% or less of the installed and connected capacity of 8,900MW.
“These were on October 2,3,4,8,9,10,18 and 19; on November 3 and 4, 13 Dec and 19-20 Jan
“The truth is we are not going to be able to keep extending the life of these stations and Scotland will be in the midst of an energy crunch. With Longannet imminently coming off-line we will need new generating capacity.
“There is a strong case for new nuclear build in Scotland. We need to start the debate about new nuclear now and crucially how it is going to be funded. There is a growing case for the state to borrow the money to build the new nuclear we need.
“The Scottish Government needs to be honest with the Scottish people and we need to take the debate forward on Scottish new nuclear as part of a low carbon electricity future with renewables.”
Scottish Energy News 16 Feb 2016
Torness station director Paul Winkle added: “Torness provides high quality employment to more than 500 people directly and to a further 250 contract partners – so life extension means the power station will continue to contribute to the economy of East Lothian.
“Extending the life of this station, along with three others, is a cost-effective way for the UK to have safe reliable, low carbon energy until a new generation of nuclear power stations comes on stream.”