East Lothian Council warn locals against swimming at Skateraw and Thorntonloch beaches after oil spill at Torness

Swimmers have been told not to enter the water at two beaches in East Lothian, after an oil spill from Torness Nuclear Power Station.
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East Lothian Council have issued a warning to locals, advising them not to bathe in the waters at Skateraw and Thorntonloch beaches. Residents have also been asked to stop their pets from entering the water at the two beaches.

This advice has come as a result of an oil spill from an electricity substation inside the nearby Torness Nuclear Power Station.

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Investigations are now ongoing, following an electrical fault on a transformer which activated an automatic fire protection system. Cooling water and oil was released, which resulted in overflow running into the drainage system.

Some discoloured water in the sea has been reported, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has been informed. A clean-up operation has been put in place.

Tom Reid, Head of Infrastructure at East Lothian Council, said: “As a precaution we are advising members of the public to refrain from entering the water at Skateraw and Thorntonloch at this time. We would also ask that owners do not allow pets to enter the water. Protecting the local environment is our top priority and council officers have been on site and are working with colleagues from SP Energy Networks and EDF.”

Paul Forrest, Station Director at Torness, said: “When we became aware of the fault, our teams responded using spill kits to block drains and contain and collect as much oil as possible. Unfortunately, some oil has made its way into the environment. We are working with SP Energy Networks to understand the cause of the fault.”

Swimmers have been told not to bathe in the waters at Thorntonloch beach in East Lothian.Swimmers have been told not to bathe in the waters at Thorntonloch beach in East Lothian.
Swimmers have been told not to bathe in the waters at Thorntonloch beach in East Lothian.
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The electricity substation at Torness is operated by SP Energy Networks. Stephen Kelly, Transmission Network Operations Manager for SP Energy Networks, said: “While the initial release of oil was swiftly contained within our catchment ‘bund’, we’re working closely with EDF and SEPA to ensure any overflow caused by the cooling water is cleaned-up quickly and effectively. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and are doing everything we can to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

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