Students go behind the scenes at nuclear power station

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Burnley College Sixth Form Centre and UCLan Burnley Construction and Electrical Engineering students found out how the North West is powered on a recent trip to Heysham Power Station with EDF Energy.

The Advanced Level and Foundation Degree students were taken on a special tour of the nuclear power station facility to help them understand how the engineering theory they have learnt works every day in real life industrial practice.

Representatives from EDF Energy at the power station’s visitor centre talked to the students about how electricity is generated using nuclear energy and how various engineering and construction disciplines work together to build, maintain and run a facility as complex as a nuclear power station.

The tour and activities the group took part in highlighted the importance of getting the right qualifications while at college and the types of jobs and progression routes available to the students once they have completed their studies.

The students were then taken on a tour of the Heysham 2 power station facility where they were shown the nuclear reactor and the steam turbines which generate 22% of the UK’s electricity– enough for two million homes.

Stephen Riley, who is studying a Foundation Degree in Construction at UCLan Burnley said:

“I really enjoyed the visit to the Heysham Power Station facilities and was really impressed – it certainly gave me a good insight as to some of the job prospects I can progress to once I complete my course.”

The trip was organised by their tutor Iftikhar Bokhari, who said:

“Burnley College Sixth Form Centre and UCLan Burnley are committed to enhancing students’ learning to better understand that what they learn in the classroom has a real application in the wider world.

Visits like these also allow students to explore options for their future development and learn by talking one to one with people who already work in industry. Burnley College and UCLan Burnley continue to maintain working relationships with industry leaders such as EDF Energy - to offer our students the best options for the future.”

John Munro, Station Director at Heysham 2 power station, said:

“It was great to see the Burnley College and UCLan Burnley students out on the plant seeing what we do here at the power station. Since opening the Visitor Centre in 2013 we have seen around 20,000 people coming through our doors, many looking at potential career opportunities at the two stations. Hopefully some of those on this recent tour will be applying to join our apprenticeship scheme in the autumn.”