BUSINESSES throughout Dunbar are set to benefit from a multi-million-pound scheme at Torness Power Station.

More than 800 extra workers will join the 750-strong workforce for a 10-week major maintenance programme, with the project costing nearly £35 million.

Operators at the EDF site took one of the station’s two units offline on Saturday as work got under way.

The outage allows work to be carried out at the power station – which is due to stop generating electricity in March 2028 – that cannot take place while the reactor is switched on.

Paul Forrest, station director at the nuclear power station, near Dunbar, said: “This will be the 24th statutory outage we have carried out at the station.

“We are very well practised at them and, over the years, we have built great relationships with the extra workers who come and support us during the outages.

“These workers will be staying in local hotels and B&Bs, eating in the area’s restaurants and using taxi firms.

“It is great that our investment in the power station can also benefit our community.”

The statutory outages are planned in advance with the National Grid to ensure that there is no impact on the national electricity supply.

The other reactor at Torness is due to continue operating normally throughout.

During the outage, workers will carry out more than 13,000 separate pieces of work – each carefully planned during the last two years of preparation.

The biggest projects include two gas circulator exchanges, exchange of the turbine generator rotor and extensive graphite inspections.

Mr Forrest added: “Torness is designated as critical national infrastructure.

“We have been quietly helping to keep the lights on throughout the pandemic and this outage is part of the work we need to carry out to keep doing this.

“The last statutory outage took place during the height of the pandemic when lockdown restrictions were still in place.

“We took the safety of our workers and the community seriously and put a range of protective measures in place.

“While the circumstances as we enter this outage are different, we will continue to reinforce the importance of regular handwashing, social distancing and mask-wearing on site.”