17 May 13

New Visitor Centre has opened at Torness Power Station

Pupils from East Linton primary school, East Lothian, get the first view of Torness power station’s new visitor centre, with station guide Belinda Smith

A new Visitor Centre has opened its doors at Torness power station which will allow visitors to see nuclear power for themselves.

The centre is designed to capture the imagination of children and adults alike with hands-on displays and guided tours of the power station.

EDF Energy’s managing director nuclear generation Andy Spurr and local MSP, Iain Gray launched the new centre which is on the Torness site.

It is the latest of seven planned centres to be opened by EDF Energy and is part of the company’s commitment to increasing openness at its nuclear power stations across the UK.

The timing of the opening is particularly significant for the area as Torness marks 25 years of low carbon generation this summer. The station has generated 200 terawatts of low carbon power since starting production in 1988.

This has avoided around 130 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to removing all the vehicles from the entire UK’s roads for two years.

Andy Spurr said: "EDF Energy enjoys strong support from the local community around Torness and we are committed to being as open as possible here in East Lothian and at all our nuclear power stations in the UK, including our other Scottish power station at Hunterston B in North Ayrshire.

"Opening the Visitor Centre is an important milestone for us. It will enable thousands of people from the local community and beyond to see nuclear power and to learn about how we safely generate low carbon electricity for around two million homes."

Iain Gray MSP said: "Torness continues to play a vital role in the economy of Scotland. This new centre is an excellent way of connecting local residents and visitors to the working life of the power station, and also increasing understanding of the importance of nuclear power to our energy infrastructure."

Torness Station Director Paul Winkle said: "We hope the Torness Visitor Centre will inspire young people about science, technology and engineering.

"The country needs young people to develop an enthusiasm for science which might one day turn into a career here at Torness and that enthusiasm starts with experiences like this."

"Since we announced our plans, we’ve been inundated by requests from local people keen to learn more about our station.

"This Visitor Centre will allow us to introduce people to our operation in a safe, informative and attractive environment and we expect many thousands of visitors through the doors."

The Visitor Centre will normally be open every day from 9-4:30pm. All plant tours require advanced booking and will also be available at the weekend, subject to availability and demand.

The majority of the tours will be organised for schools and educational groups. However, members of the public will also be able to attend by appointment.

Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, before being given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To book a visit the public can contact the station via 01368 873 909 or tornessvisitorcentre@edf-energy.com