Torness Point (United Kingdom)

Map of Torness Point

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2 * AGR 650 MW grid connection 1988/89

Facilities in Torness Point

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Torness Point-1AGR19801988
Torness Point-2AGR19801989

The first reactor shutdown at the plant in May was caused when a blade on a fan that spins at 3,000 revolutions per minute fell off inside the truck-sized reactor coolers.
It is thought it may have had metal fatigue.

The company which built the East Lothian station admitted that the second reactor, shut down this week, had been "showing signs of a similar problem".

British Energy closed down Reactor 1 on 12 th Aug. after staff noticed vibrations in the fans which cool the reactors by circulating carbon dioxide at high pressure.
With Reactor 2 already shut down since May, the station is now producing no electricity, costing British Energy about £500,000 a day.

BE again said yesterday it could not put a date on restarting either reactor. A leading nuclear expert said TORNESS nuclear power station is likely to be shut for six months to a year.

It would only say that there had been no safety risk and investigations were continuing into the faults.
Alistair Smith, corporate development manager at Cheshire-based NNC, which built Torness, said the cause of the May problem was failure of a blade on a circulator fan. It broke off and ended up inside the fan casing, causing unusual vibrations which led to the shutdown.
Unusual vibrations were also what led to the shutdown of the other reactor, although it is understood the circulators have not yet been examined to pinpoint the cause.


A lightning strike shut down both reactors at the nuclear power station for five days.
A power surge which triggered the automatic safety systems caused shut down of both reactors.
The spokesman of the plant said this was the first time such an incident had occurred at the plant and he insisted it posed no risk to the public.
The spokesman said "There was a voltage pulse. It's like something happening in your house when your bulbs trip out. We quite often shut down the reactors for maintenance so it is not unusual for a reactor to shut down safely."
During the incident, boiler pressures were reduced and non-radioactive steam, normally used to power the station's electricity-generating turbines, was released. The spokesman said the incident was reported to the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate "right away", and stressed the industry was heavily regulated.


The number two reactor was shut down because of a mechanical fault with the cooling system. The spokesman of the nuclear power plant said: "Right now we are replacing a gas circulator, which is part of the cooling system. We have teams of people working on that."


Scottish Nuclear Ltd (SNL) completed its first on-load refueling at the Torness advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) station in January. The achievement came 17 months after low-power refueling was introduced at Torness´s sister station, Heysham B, run by Nuclear Electric (NE), and will allow an increase in output at Torness of an estimated 600 gigawatt-hours over a year of normal operation.
Deficiencies in Torness´s fuel handling, storage, and dismantling equipment were first identified during commissioning of the twin reactors in 1988. Torness was restricted to refueling with the reactors shut down and pressurized.