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“From honeymooners to Cambridge University students”: Sizewell Visitor Centre passes 100,000 milestone

Posted February 14, 2024
  • Sizewell Visitor Centre reaches milestone after most popular year since opening in 2012
  • Sizewell B power station celebrates anniversary of nearly thirty years of generation

Following its most successful year since it opened just over a decade ago, The Sizewell Visitor Centre has now passed a major milestone – with over 100,000 visitors coming to the Centre for educational workshops and tours of the Sizewell B nuclear power station.  

The milestone comes on the same day the power station marks 29 years of operation. 

The Sizewell Visitor Centre is open to the public for free tours, education workshops and activities, as well as career events. Tours allow visitors to see the very heart of Sizewell B nuclear power station – its turbine hall, which houses the station’s two main turbine generators.  

Sarah Osborne, Sizewell B Visitor Centre Co-ordinator, said: “We offer a unique experience here. Sizewell B is the most modern nuclear power station in the UK, and it’s the UK’s only Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR): so to be able to come inside and find out how it all works is a powerful educational opportunity, and inspiring for many people.

“We have everyone from honeymooners to Cambridge University students coming for tours of Sizewell B. We’ve welcomed a ninety-year-old who wanted to see inside as part of a quest to tick off ninety things to do while he was 90. We get people booking surprise visits for their child’s 21st birthday, or for their husbands or wives on their anniversary – though some ask us not to tell their partners that the tour is free!”  

“Instrumental in educating our students” 

A key element of the Visitor Centre is its relationship with schools. The Centre has an interactive exhibition to help students and visitors learn about nuclear power generation, alongside a classroom facility. Schools come from all over the UK and internationally, but the majority are regular visitors from schools and colleges in the region, some of which have embedded visits to Sizewell B into their curriculum. 

Rachel Bunn, assistant principal and director for Commercial, Partnerships and Community at East Coast College, said: “The Visitor Centre at Sizewell B and their associated outreach team have been instrumental in educating our students, staff, and wider community. The ability to visit the site and receive current knowledge on nuclear power and the impact that it has on energy generation for the region. It can also highlight the jobs and apprenticeships that are on offer and the career progression that this can offer those seeking jobs for life.”

Workshops and outreach sessions are targeted at different age groups, with sessions that focus on science and engineering to apprenticeship opportunities, and the team make visits to key events in the area, from the Suffolk Show to the Norwich Science Festival. For under 11s, there are also science workshops, including fun STEM activities like friction and jelly experiments, circuits, and ACDC congas.   

Sarah Osborne, who has been at the centre for ten years, continued: “I love it when I see people on a tour and then, almost straight after, they apply for an apprenticeship here – you can really see the impact you’re having, inspiring young people to make a positive choice for their future: not only at Sizewell B, but also now at Sizewell C, where there will be significant opportunities for young people, with over 1,500 apprenticeships on offer over the coming years.”

The team also work hard to make sure that tours are accessible to all, including providing ground level tours in the turbine hall and virtual tours.  

Sarah said: “We want to be as welcoming as we can to anyone who wants to learn about nuclear energy and the sector. That’s really important to us, and we can have a big impact, inspiring and empowering those who might not otherwise have thought they could access a career in the sector. 

“We have many Special Education Needs (SEN) visitors – one student was previously too scared to go on holiday because he was fearful of airport security. After a positive experience with the security here at Sizewell B, he said he had overcome his fear and would tell his parents when he got home that they could finally go on holiday! That was lovely to hear.”

Sarah has faced one of her own fears as part of the tours, too: 

“I had to present about nuclear fission in front of my old science teacher a few years ago. That was nail-biting. He brought a class down from Dagenham, just before he retired. I told his students that if anything I said was rubbish, it was his fault!”   

Alongside Sarah, there are eleven trained station guides and one co-ordinator, with diverse backgrounds, from public service and education to nuclear physics. 

Clare, who joined as a guide eighteen months ago, said: “We have an amazing team here and we’re really proud of what we do. We’re bringing information to life in a vivid, transparent, and – we hope – fun way.   

“I’m local to the area, and I have to say, my own knowledge base about nuclear, and about Sizewell in particular, was pretty low before I started here – now I love sharing with others what I’ve discovered, busting some of those myths and preconceptions, and inspiring a few people along the way.”

Sizewell B first started generating low-carbon electricity 29 years ago today, on 14 February 1995. Last month, the power station reached a significant milestone of its own, passing 250TWh of electricity generation since the station became operational - enough electricity to power every home in Suffolk for 192 years.  


More information about Sizewell Visitor Centre 

The Sizewell Visitor Centre is open to the public from 9am to 4.30pm Monday – Friday. 

To arrange a tour of the power station, you can email Sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com. Visitors are advised to allow up to three hours for a tour and can be pre-booked for free at least three weeks in advance. Minimum age for the station tour is 11 years-old.
Trained station guides accompany the tours which include a safety and security briefing and relevant Personal Protective equipment.

The plant tour is a walking tour, mostly outdoors, and is 1.65 miles long.

For more information, please contact: Nick Osbourne, Media Relations Manager, Nicholas.Osbourne@sizewellc.com / 07384 528466.   
 
 

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Alde Valley Academy visit to Sizewell Visitor Centre
Sizewell Visitor Centre
Sizewell Visitor Centre
Sizewell Visitor Centre

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 5GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Dalkia, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 14,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

EDF is a leading provider of battery optimisation and trading services in the UK, delivering market leading performance by leveraging the latest in AI optimisation technology and in-house battery trading expertise. EDF has currently contracted more than 1 GB of battery storage in Great Britain.

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