Day 9 – We did see the graphite

Our excursion destination today was Torness Nuclear power Station. In Edinburgh we don’t have cars anymore, so we are using public transport for getting to excursion destinations. I (Väinö) had bought the tickets for the bus that would toon us to the power station. Edinburgh does not have one company which operates the public transportation like Helsinki has HSL. This was actually quite challenging because first I had to find out which company operates in the sector where the Torness Nucler Station is located. Here you learn to respect things that you would normally maybe ignore in Finland, like good public transportation. At the end we didn’t have any issues with the transportation even though the bus ride took a bit over one hour.

After the bus ride we were not able to miss the power station. If you have seen a movie about nuclear power, the facade of the power station was exactly what you can imagine. When we arrived at the plant gate, we were welcomed by three lovely ladies who worked as our tour guides.

There are two identical reactors in Torness and together they produce more than 1300 MW non carbon electricity. AGR (advanced gas cooled reactor) uses graphite as the neutron moderator and carbon dioxide as coolant. Both the reactor and the plant differ in many ways from the nuclear power plants used in Finland, so we had a lot to learn. We were lucky to be able to see the reactor hall, turbine hall and control room for example. For most of us, this visit was the first one at nuclear power plant. Overall, we were really satisfied to this excursion, it totally exceeded all our expectations.

After visiting the Torness plant, we visited a beautiful beach just next to the plant area. After walking at the beach we took a bus ride back to Edinburgh, but this time the bus went different way which was very slow. It took almost 2 hours to get back to the Edinburgh. On the other hand, we were able to see more local infrastructure. After getting back to the city we were hungry so we went to eat some burgers to local restaurant in the old town. This meal was sponsored by the Finnish company called Wega Group. Cheers to Wega and thank you!

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