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Future Engineers visit Heysham PowerStation

Future Engineers visit Heysham PowerStation

On the 29th of January, we departed for Heysham. We arrived and were introduced to Sarah and Molly, our tour guides. During the morning of this trip we were sitting listening to the presentation that had been prepared for us, which included lots of information on different types of energy- in particular nuclear energy. We then got the opportunity to look around at some displays they had which included some interactive activities and gave us a lot of information on Heysham nuclear power plant itself, like the fact that the sea water they use as cooling water isn’t allowed to return back into the sea more than 12 degrees hotter than its original temperature. In the afternoon our tour guides gave us safety equipment, high-vis jackets, helmets and safety goggles, as well as information on how to stay safe in the building for our entrance into Heysham 2 that contained units 7 and 8. First we walked across a walkway which we entered the reactor 2 building via and made our way to the control room. We were told about the functions of the room and what an average day working as a Nuclear Power Reactor operator (two twelve hour shifts, one day one evening), then six days off unless you need to come in for training. The Heysham nuclear power plant control room is a completely isolated system to protect the plant from cyber attacks. After seeing the control room we went to see the top of the nuclear reactor and learned about how after several years the fuel in the reactor is replaced. Then we went to see the turbines and learnt that the tips of the turbine move at twice the speed of sound. It was a very interesting tour which taught us about how nuclear power plants work.


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