13 August 2002 – A Scottish nuclear power station run by British Energy plc has been shut down because of a problem with the gas circulation system.
Reactor number 1 at the Torness power station in East Lothian was closed down automatically on Monday afternoon. A second reactor has been out of action since May because of a similar problem.
British Energy says there was no “incident” in either case and no escape of radiation. The power station normally produces 1200 MW of electricity. However, it is now completely shut down and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
British Energy said its first priority was safety and the fact that the reactor shut down automatically proved that the system was working. According to the company, it happened because of vibrations in one of the gas circulators.
A similar problem shut down the number 2 reactor in May and investigations are continuing. British Energy is stressing that it is a mechanical problem and there are no safety issues involved.
The power station was also forced to cease operation in May this year after a lightning strike. The lightning caused a power surge, which activated safety systems at the Scottish power station.