Seaweed temporarily shuts down Scottish nuclear power station

The steam-turbine generating hall at Torness nuclear power plant
The steam-turbine generating hall at Torness nuclear power plant

A Scottish nuclear power station has closed down one of its two atomic reactors because of seaweed which has partially blocked the water-intake from the North Sea.

EDF – the French state-owned nuclear power company shut its 595 MW Torness-1 nuclear unit In East Lothian due to an increase in seaweed levels ‘as a result of the weather conditions in the area.’

A spokesman explained: “We are currently monitoring the weather and the seaweed levels and will confirm once we have returned the unit to service.

“We know that at certain times of year particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth Estuary can lead to increased seaweed volumes which can enter the station’s cooling water intake system.

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

5 Mar 2018

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