18 Feb 14

Dungeness B’s visitor centre celebrates its first anniversary

The visitor centre at Dungeness B power station was feeling loved this Valentine’s day as it celebrated its first birthday.

Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B, said: “I am extremely pleased with the success the visitor centre has seen in its first year. As well as providing a place to find out more about energy issues and the power station we have also welcomed a variety of events and activities here that local people have shown their support for.”

Since opening one year ago the visitor centre has had over 4,700 visitors through its doors, just over a quarter of which have been school pupils. School groups are able to use the on-site classroom facilities for their very own science lessons on site before taking a tour inside the power station.

The visitor centre celebrated its birthday with 29 pupils in years five and six from Sellindge Primary School in Ashford. As well as being treated to some cake on Valentine’s day, the pupils were invited to write down what they loved about the power station and the visitor centre.

Saffron Hughes, 10, said: “I really liked seeing the generator because it was much bigger than I thought it was going to be! The turbine hall was very loud, it was a good job we had ear defenders!”

Jackson Graves, 11, said: “I liked that we got to wear really cool gear. It’s my first time at a power station and it’s been really fun!”

Mr Peters, teacher at Sellindge Primary school in Ashford said: “We have been learning about different sources of energy at school including making models of how power stations work so it made complete sense to come and see the real thing. There’s no better way to teach about energy production than to be able to show the pupils first hand”.

There was further cause to celebrate at Dungeness B this week as the anniversary comes one day after EDF Energy announced it expects to be able to extend the life of the stations by ten years to 2028 with a decision expected during 2014.

If granted, life extension would secure hundreds of high quality jobs and valuable economic benefits for the Kent community for an additional ten years.

Dungeness B currently employs 550 staff, bringing the wage bill to more than £30 million per year. The station also employs over 200 permanent contractors and 25 apprentices as well as graduates from the company’s engineering scheme.

Anyone keen to find out more about Dungeness B and nuclear power for themselves can visit the Dungeness B visitor centre. The visitor centre will normally be open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and is open to members of the public.

Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, and if booked in advance will be given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To book a visit the public can contact the station via: dungenessBtours@edf-energy.com or call 01797 343728.