ONE of the two nuclear reactors at Torness Power Station has been taken out of service as part of a major £30 million maintenance programme.

More than 500 extra workers will join the existing workforce during the next two months.

They will carry out more than 12,000 separate pieces of work – each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation.

Paul Winkle, station director, said: “This inspection, maintenance and investment programme has been carefully planned over the last two years and will enable us to continue safely generating low carbon electricity at Torness for many years to come.

“It’s good news for the local economy, which will see local shops, taxi firms, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels benefit from the large number of extra people who will be staying in and around East Lothian.” The extensive programme of work will see inspections inside the reactor, as well as the installation of new equipment.

Among the biggest projects will be exchanging two large gas circulators, which help cool the reactor, and replacing blades on the turbine which is used to turn steam into low carbon electricity.

The maintenance periods are known as statutory outages and take place every three years on each reactor.

The power station’s other reactor is to continue as normal throughout the eight-week scheme.