Seaweed a spin off from the intense ‘STORM ANGUS’ that raged across the UK yesterday forced the shutdown of the nuclear power station at Torness in Scotland.
This report from the East Lothian Courier:
“SEAWEED has forced one of the reactors at Torness Power Station to be shut down.
Reactor one was shut down at about 8.45am this morning when the seaweed began to threaten a cooling water inlet at the power station, to the east of Dunbar.
EDF Energy, which runs the plant, said: “One of the reactors at Torness Power Station came offline this morning due to an increase in seaweed levels as a result of the weather conditions in the area.
“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.”
It is unknown when the reactor will be back online.”
Despite the reassurances from EDF which will no doubt be echoed by the Nuclear regulator the shutdown illustrates the vulnerability of coastal nuclear plants utilising seawater for cooling to severe weather events. Additionally its not just severe weather in the summer of 2011 both reactors had to shut down because an ingress of jellyfish in the bay around the site.
Image: Torness nuclear plant in East Lothian
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.