Seaweed shuts down nuclear reactor

Torness Power Station

Torness Power Station

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A NUCLEAR reactor at Torness Power Station was today shut down for the second time this year after its seawater cooling system again became clogged with seaweed.

Operator EDF Energy said one of the facility’s two 640-megawatt reactors had to be taken offline in the early hours of this morning – and is expected to remain closed for a week.

Both reactors had to be shut down as a safety precaution in May after their filters became clogged with seaweed.

Chas Booth, Green councillor and member of the Torness local liaison committee, said: “This latest loss of power at Torness just underlines how unreliable nuclear power is. It’s absolutely clear that we can’t depend on expensive and unreliable nuclear power to keep the lights on.”

The station’s director Paul Winkle said: “We took reactor 2 offline due to increased seaweed ingress as a result of the weather conditions. We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth estuary, seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling system.”