Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Hunterston and Torness open for public tours

Described as being the first time they will have opened their doors to the public since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the US, the nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness will be opening visitor centres for the public, and making tours of the plant available.

While they expect the majority of these tours to be taken up by schools and educational groups, members of the public will be able to visit by appointment.

The Hunterston centre is the first to be opened by operator EDF Energy at one of its UK plants, and is expected to see some 3,500 visitors per annum. They will be given guided tours and be able to interact with displays in the centres, which open between 09:00 and 16:00. Torness should open later in 2012.

No great surprise that it didn’t take long for the anti-nuclear crazies to crawl out of the sustainable woodwork, and use the opportunity to dish out their usual rhetoric.

Hunterston and Torness nuclear plants reopen to public

The decommissioned Hunterston A facility can be seen centre right, while Hunterston B is visible in the top right. Hunterston B is due to be decommissioned in 2016 (at the time of writing), and has the capability to power approximately one million homes. Together with Torness, the two power stations have supplied more than half of Scotland’s electricity demand during their lives.

I’ve never visited a nuclear power station, but I did manage to get into Torness many moons ago, when were responsible for maintaining much of their (non-nuclear) test instrumentation.

I only made the one trip there, to check on out engineers’ work, and being there was a bit odd in some respects. While there was a touch of enhanced security at the door, there was very little to suggest anything out of the ordinary while moving around the non-nuclear part of the facility. However, it was quite a different matter whenever you approached the working area of the station, and you were left in little doubt that you were being closely watched, and that there was a fairly fine line that you were not allowed to cross. It was well identified with signs, and security.

And I declined to test it. Even just stopping walking to take a closer look for a moment look didn’t seem like a good idea, since you stood out like a sore thumb as a badged visitor.

Hunterston A and B

Hunterston A and B © Copyright Kenneth Hall

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September 5, 2012 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,

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