Martin Whitfield MSP has tabled a motion at Holyrood highlighting the significant contribution Torness power station has made to Scotland’s clean energy generation and welcoming the news that the plant’s life could be extended beyond 2028.
The parliamentary motion came about after the latest UK energy statistics revealed that nuclear energy generated 16 per cent of Scotland’s total electricity in 2022.
It also followed an announcement by EDF Energy that it is considering plans for extending the lives of its operational UK nuclear power stations, including Torness, with a further £1.3bn investment in its British nuclear fleet up to 2026.
The company has said it will make a decision on whether to extend the lives of four UK plants, by the end of the year. Any decision to keep the stations open beyond their current lifespans would also require regulatory approval.
Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“I’ve always been a firm supporter of Torness power station and its importance to our energy supply and security. The latest UK energy statistics underline the station’s ongoing crucial role and I’m pleased to highlight its significant contribution in this parliamentary motion.
“We have a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in the nuclear industry in this area, including a highly skilled and dedicated workforce. However, the reality is that Torness is currently scheduled to stop production in March 2028, ending the generation of nuclear power in Scotland.
“The closure of Torness would leave us without a reliable baseload for electricity generation and potentially harm our future energy security. So, I welcome the news that EDF Energy has outlined new plans seeking to extend the station’s life beyond 2028.
“Keeping Torness producing clean, reliable energy for longer would be good for local jobs, the economy and Scotland’s energy security. It would also buy us more time to explore options for developing new nuclear capacity in Scotland with all the economic and environmental benefits that would bring.”
Mr Whitfield’s motion reads as follow:
That the Parliament notes the latest published Digest of UK Energy Statistics, released by the UK Government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which reportedly shows that nuclear energy generated 16% of Scotland’s electricity in 2022; further notes that the figures published reportedly show that 86% of Scotland’s electricity generation came from low-carbon sources in 2022, with nuclear continuing to play a role in the country’s energy mix; understands that Torness power station is Scotland’s last remaining nuclear power station, and that, over its lifetime, it has produced enough power for every home in Scotland for 29 years and saved 98 million tonnes of CO2 emissions; further understands that Torness is the single largest electricity generator in Scotland, and the most reliable and lowest carbon electricity generator; welcomes EDF’s reported ambition to extend the life of Torness beyond March 2028 for jobs, energy security, bills and carbon saving, which in turn, it believes, will be a huge boost for East Lothian and across Scotland, and understands that several countries in Europe, including France, Belgium and Sweden, have announced plans to extend the operating lives of nuclear reactors.