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Extra workers to benefit East Lothian economy as Torness power station maintenance gets underway

Businesses in East Lothian will experience a boost this Easter as hundreds of additional workers join the team at EDF Energy’s Torness power station to carry out a major maintenance programme worth around £28m.

One of the two reactors at the power station is being taken off line on Friday 7th April for a nine week period.

More than 600 extra workers will join the 750 strong workforce for the maintenance period, which is known as a “statutory outage”.

EDF Energy carries out a statutory outage on each of its reactors every three years. These are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.  The other reactor at Torness is due to continue operating normally throughout the period.

During the outage 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.

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 outage will give 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 and B’s, eating in the area’s restaurants and using taxi firms. It is great that our investment in the power station can also benefit local community.”

Torness power station’s two nuclear reactors generate enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes and started operating in 1988. The station employs more than 500 full time staff and around 250 full time contract partners to ensure the safe reliable generation of electricity. 

Torness 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.

For more information contact:

Fiona McCall
External Communications Manager (Scotland)
01355 846281
07813 232347
Fiona.McCall@edf-energy.com

Notes to editors

Torness outage in numbers 

  • 12,000 separate pieces of work.
  • £28 million investment.
  • Around 750 staff and contract partners.
  • 600 extra staff.
  • Takes place every 3 years on each reactor.
  • Torness started operating in 1988.
  • Torness has produced enough low carbon electricity to save the equivalent of 80 million tonnes of CO2e during its 28 years of operation.
  • This is equivalent to taking all passenger cars off the UK’s roads for a year.
  • EDF Energy is using a new methodology to compare emissions. Instead of comparing the emissions avoided to the prevailing UK fossil fuel mix EDF Energy now uses the direct emissions of a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant as comparison.

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.