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Nuclear reactor shut down by clogging seaweed

Seaweed shuts down Scottish nuclear reactor  Seawater cooling system of Torness in East Lothian has become clogged with seaweed for the second time this year   theguardian.com, Friday 22 November 2013  A nuclear reactor near Edinburgh shut down on Thursday because its seawater cooling system became clogged with seaweed. This is the second time this year that reactors at Torness in East Lothianhave been forced to close because of excessive seaweed. In 2011 it was closed by a swarm of jellyfish.

Reactors need large amounts of water in order to keep them cool, and to prevent them from overheating. Seawater for cooling at Torness is filtered, but when the filters get clogged, reactors have to be shut down as a safety precaution.

The station’s operator, EDF Energy, has said that one of the two 640-megawatt reactors at Torness was shut down in the early hours of this morning. It is expected to remain closed for the next seven days.

“We took reactor 2 offline at 02:20 this morning due to increased seaweed ingress as a result of the weather conditions in the area,” said the nuclear station’s director, Paul Winkle.

“We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth estuary, seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling water intake system.”…… Both reactors at Torness were closed down for several days in May this year by seaweed. In June 2011 they were shut because a swarm of jellyfish had blocked the coolant filters.

“This latest loss of power at Torness just underlines how unreliablenuclear power is,” said Chas Booth, the green councillor for Leith and a member of the Torness local liaison committee.

“One week it’s seaweed, the next it’s jellyfish – each time it’s a different excuse. It’s absolutely clear that we can’t depend on expensive and unreliable nuclear power to keep the lights on – we need sustained investment in energy saving and renewables instead.”

Although the UK government is pressing ahead with a new nuclear power programme, the Scottish government in Edinburgh is opposed to building more nuclear power stations. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/21/seaweed-torness-nuclear-reactor-east-lothian

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November 22, 2013 - Posted by | incidents, UK

2 Comments »

  1. good catch christina (as usual) … sea weed.. is it radioactice?? :(
    gieger on for the release// winds from the north :( bloody cold too here on dartmoor (Land of the free and imprisoned ,,, great juxtaposition. imo)

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | November 22, 2013 | Reply

  2. Reactors need large amounts of water in order to keep them cool, and to prevent them from overheating. Seawater for cooling at Torness is filtered, but when the filters get clogged, reactors have to be shut down as a safety precaution
    ie: ‘Clogged filter/Compromising of cooling/Over heating’ maybe?
    Volumes of H2O to cool BWR’s at least the ones at Fuku currently cited are:
    1,000,000 gallons minute X 1440 min. day X 3 units = 4.3BGD to cool…+300ton/day
    Lot’s of WATER thnx a

    Comment by Albert N Michall | November 23, 2013 | Reply


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