16 Jul 12

Sizewell B visitor centre plans approved

An artist's impression of the Sizewell B temporary visitor centre

Plans for a new Visitor Centre at Sizewell B power station have now been given the go-ahead.

The owners of Sizewell B power station – EDF Energy - applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council for planning permission to create a temporary visitor centre at the site near Leiston.

This development is part of a national initiative by EDF Energy to improve public accessibility at all eight of its nuclear power stations across the UK.

“EDF Energy is committed to improving the transparency and openness surrounding our nuclear operations,” said Jim Crawford, Sizewell B power station director.

“Sizewell B attracts massive public interest, with its iconic design, and we welcome the opportunity to be able to show people how we generate safe, low-carbon electricity for over 2 million homes.”

“Since we announced our plans, we have been inundated by requests from people keen to learn more about our station. This Visitor Centre will allow us to introduce people to our operation at Sizewell B power station in a safe, informative and attractive environment.”

The new visitor centre will be housed in an existing mobile cabin building, with a new glazed extension, next to the Training Centre to the north of the Sizewell B site. Access to the building will be along the existing access road to Sizewell B.

The plan is to use this temporary building for the next four years, until a permanent visitor centre can be built elsewhere on the site.

Work on the half million pound project is now beginning, with the Visitor Centre scheduled to open in October this year. Job adverts have gone out to allow the station to employ Guides to take the parties round the site.

The Visitor centre will normally be open on weekdays. It is expected it will attract between 7,500 and 10,000 visitors each year. The majority of the tours will be organised for schools/educational groups, specifically school trips for children of 11 years and upwards. However, members of the public will 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.