Shutdown at Scottish nuclear plant injects £28m windfall into East Lothian economy and engineering supply-chain

Torness nuclear power plant
Torness nuclear power plant

A total of £28 million is currently being boosted into the East Lothian economy this month and next during a 10-week shutdown at a Scottish nuclear power plant.

One of the two nuclear reactors at the Torness plant, near Dunbar, has been closed for a compulsory three-yearly ‘engineering-MOT’ check since 7 April.

Since then, more than 600 extra workers have joined the 750-strong standing workforce for the maintenance period, which is technically known as a “statutory outage”. The other reactor at Torness continues to operating normally throughout this shutdown.

During the maintenance shutdown, workers will carry out more than 12,000 separate pieces of work – each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation.

The biggest projects include inspections of the reactor vessel internals, exchange of the turbine high pressure rotor and replacement of auxiliary cooling water pipework systems.

Paul Winkle
Paul Winkle

Station Director Paul Winkle, said: “This is the first statutory outage since we announced last year that Torness will continue to produce low carbon electricity until 2030- an additional seven years.

“The shutdown gives us the chance to do inspections and carry out pieces of work that are not possible when the reactor is operating.

“It is also a great boost for the local economy. We are bringing in an additional 600 workers who will be staying in local hotels and B&B’s, eating in local restaurants and using taxi firms. It is great that our investment in the power station can also bring economic benefits to the local community.”

The Scottish nuclear plant has produced enough low carbon electricity to save the equivalent of 80 million tonnes of CO2e during its 28 years of operation, the same as taking all of the passenger cars off the UK’s roads for a year.

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