Located on the East Lothian coast, 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Dunbar, close to the main A1 road and railway running from Edinburgh to London. Torness produces 1364 megawatts of electricity from two Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs). The AGR is a sophisticated and efficient British design, but is unique to seven nuclear stations in the United Kingdom. Torness is part of the third and most advanced phase of AGR construction. Building of the station started in 1980, and it was commissioned in 1988.
Because of deficiencies in the fuel handling facilities identified during the commissioning process, Torness was restricted to refuelling with the reactors shut down until 1996.
The power station is operated by British Energy Plc, a company with a £2 billion annual turnover, which generates approximately 55% of Scotland's electricity from the Hunterston 'B' nuclear power station (south of Largs in North Ayrshire) and Torness itself.
With over 600 staff, Torness is one of the largest employers in East Lothian. The station includes a visitor centre, which shows how the electricity is produced and its role in Scotland's economy.