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 has a nominal capacity of 1364 megawatts, from two 682 megawatt 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. In 2016, after technical and safety reviews, it was announced that its operational life was extended from 2023 to 2030. The station makes a net contribution to the national electricity grid of 1190 megawatts. Because of deficiencies in the fuel handling facilities identified during the commissioning process, until 1996 Torness was restricted to refuelling with the reactors shut down.
The power station was operated by British Energy Plc, which became part of the state-owned French multi-national EDF in 2009. This company generates approximately 55% of Scotland's electricity from two nuclear plants; the Hunterston 'B' Nuclear Power Station (south of Largs in North Ayrshire) and Torness.
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.