I WOULD like to clarify the emergency arrangements in place at Torness power station ("Nuclear power station drill", The Herald, June 21).

The emergency arrangements in place at Torness are robust, well established and can in no way be described as "new". The power station's emergency arrangements have been in place since it opened in 1988.

The station is designed, operated and regulated to ensure that accidents are highly unlikely. Nevertheless, it is prudent to have arrangements to deal with such a situation should it occur. Our emergency arrangements have to satisfy a number of regulatory requirements and are approved by and regularly demonstrated to our independent regulator (the Office for Nuclear Regulation).

Local residents around the power station are reminded of the emergency arrangements each year through an annual calendar with information on what to do in the highly unlikely event of an emergency and routinely sent a supply of potassium iodate tablets.

We have detailed emergency plans to monitor for radiation and provide public protection within a 3km radius of the station (which exceeds the distance, based on credible analysis, that might reasonably impact the public). This Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) has been agreed with our regulator and local emergency agencies. In the case of Torness, this zone covers around 220 households.

The Scottish Government has agreed arrangements for access to potassium iodate tablets as part of the stockpile of pharmaceutical countermeasures held at strategic locations across Scotland to respond to a number of potential incidents. The access arrangements are in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the interests of safety and security, it would not be prudent to advertise where those supplies are kept.

Torness power station has operated safely and reliably for 25 years, supplying low-carbon electricity for 2.5 million homes.

As station director of Torness, I am proud of our safety record and the safety culture of everyone who works here. I am also proud of the open and transparent way in which we communicate with our local community, which provides them with peace of mind. If any reader has a question about Torness we would be glad to welcome them to our visitor centre where they can find out more.

Paul Winkle,

Station director,

Torness Power Station,