Sizewell B is the UK’s only Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). You can find out more and request a tour by contacting Sizewell B visitors centre. And to find out more about the plant by visiting this link.
We visited the site in Summer 2016, starting in the Visitors Centre the tour started with a classroom session, before passing though security for a guided tour encompassing the sea water intake, cooling plant, and the turbine hall. Sadly no entry into the reactor building or the control room, but still an informative tour.
Sizewell B, Leiston, IP16 4UR
Photos from Sizewell B:
Welcome to my first blog post; over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to visit a number of Nuclear sites and have put together this site to share information and photos from my visits. It’s an on-going project so I hope to be visiting and sharing many more sites with you.
I hope you enjoy the site, keep checking back for details of new sites to visit, and photos. We’d love to hear what you think, just hit the Contact Us link.
Wondering where you can see blast craters from Nuclear Bomb Testing, tour a Nuclear Waste site, learn more about the United States Atomic Bomb program, and lots more all in one day and for free? That’d be the Nevada National Security Site and they run a tour every month, departing from the National Atomic Testing Museum.
Find out more and book a tour by visiting the Nevada National Security Site website.
Note: As we weren’t allowed to take photo’s at the Nevada Test Site all photos in this page are courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Field Office.
If your wanting to learn more about the Chernobyl Nuclear accident and it’s effect on those who lived and worked around the area then the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev is well worth a visit. Though you may want to considering arranging for a translator or local guide as the majority of the exhibits are in Russian. They do have Audio guides in English however these are not always available. And like most of Museums in Russia and the Ukraine you’ll to get an special ticket if you want to take photographs, just ask when buying your entry ticket.
I’d read from reviews on-line that the museum itself wasn’t that easy to find and about the problems with language barrier so had arranged to a local tour company to provide a tour guide and translator who meet us at our hotel to take us to the museum and also arrange for an English speaking guide.
We spent around an hour and a half at the museum where you can learn about the Chernobyl accident, see global press cuttings from the time, understand the evacuations of Pripyat, and see some of the belongings that people left behind, understand the role of the liquidators who working in 40 second shifts battled to clean up the contamination, and learn of the ongoing work in zone to build the new sarcophagus over the reactor building.
Visit the Chernobyl Museums website (English version) to plan your visit.
Ever wanted to visit a nuclear power station? Thanks to EDF now you can, in late 2012 they opened up Hunterston B (an AGR plant built in 1976, generating 890mw) to visitors, so now you can see for real how nuclear power is produced. The informative visitors centre is open daily and certainly worth a visit if your in the area, however the real highlight is getting to tour the site (which you must arrange at least 14 days in advance).
We visited last month (February 2013), arranging our visit for a Sunday morning. Arriving at Hunterson B we parked up and made our way to the visitors centre where our guides were waiting for us, from here our ID’s were verified, paperwork completed and we were presented with hard hats (so we could be easily identified as visitors while on site). We headed off across the car park to the security gate where after checking our ID’s again and passing the detector check we were handed our security passes.
Our first stop was the Water Treatment Plant where seawater is pumped in and processed, from there we walked across the site past administration offices to the Reactor building. The first thing perhaps we noticed was just how big it is, at 26 storeys tall it’s certainly a massive structure. As we were walking across the site our guide pointed out a number of upgrades (for example the new nitrogen plant) that are currently taking place as a result of the life of the plant being extended.
Passing through more security, our guide explains to us the history of the site as we make our way pass the dosimeter station (where the workers submit their dosimeters at the end of their shifts) and take the life up to the viewing gallery about the reactor. Wow. yes Wow. We find ourselves looking down onto onto the two reactors, one of was shut-down for maintenance work, the other producing around 500mw’s of power in near silence. Our guide pointed out all the equipment and described the processes that are used for maintenance and refuelling of the reactors. The viewing gallery itself has a example fuel assembly for visitors to see up close, as well as some very detailed engineering diagrams of the reactor. I’d happily of spent the rest of the weekend here just looking at this marvel of engineering, however as our next stop was the control room we reluctantly left the reactor viewing gallery and continued on with the tour.
Taking the lift down a few floors we arrive at the control room which we access from a viewing gallery looking down on the men and machines controlling the plant. Our guide explains how the room is arranged and what the banks of equipment are monitoring. After a good bye wave from the plants operators we make our exit and head to the Turbine hall.
On a cold winters day the Turbine hall is certainly the place to be, it’s certainly warm in there even from the heights of the viewing gallery. It’s worth taking a second to stop and think of the electricity being generated in this room and how many households across Scotland it’s providing for. What amazed me is how small the cables are (there are samples on the viewing gallery), I’d somehow expected them to be much bigger.
So that’s pretty much the end of our tour, as we make our way back across the site, dropping off our badges at security and returning out hard hats to the visitors centre. The visitors centre itself is well set out with information on the plant and nuclear science, and a few interactive exhibits suitable for all the family.
Tours take around an hour and a half, plus time in the visitors centre after the tour, although our was somewhat longer as despite there only been a couple of us we did ask rather a lot of questions which our very knowledgeable guide was more than happy to answer. I got a lot more than I expected from this tour, it’s clear that EDF have put a lot of effort and money into the visitors centre and the tour, and have managed to produce something which is both interesting and informative whatever your knowledge and interest in nuclear power.