Year 13 Trip to Hinkley Point

On Wednesday 22nd March, our Year 13 Physicists enjoyed a trip to Hinkley Point, the UK’s biggest nuclear power station.

We were welcomed by the Hinkley Point tour guides in the lovely village of Cannington in Somerset. Our visit started at the visitor centre where we enjoyed watching interactive videos and exploring interactive displays about Hinkley Point. We discovered more about Hinkley Point’s history, the engineering involved in Hinkley Point C construction and its positive impact on our society and our environment. 

We then listened to a well-pitched talk about the science behind nuclear power with direct links to the Physics curriculum that the students have covered in school. We learnt about the structure of the reactor, the materials used and why, the multiple layers of safety, the type of fuel used and the disposal of nuclear wastes. 

Finally, we went on a bus tour of the power station. We saw Hinkley Point A and B which are being decommissioned and we went round Hinkley Point C which is currently being built with operation expected to start in 2028. The infrastructures and the scale of such a project were phenomenal. The plant will be home to some of the biggest turbines in the world. Students were told about apprenticeships and career opportunities in the field. They saw first-hand the diversity in skills, the level of expertise and the tremendous teamwork involved in building, running and decommissioning nuclear power stations. 

Overall, such an inspiring trip, led by skilful guides, in an outstanding world-class facility, just on our doorstep, with direct impact on our students current and future life.

“What I enjoyed the most today was the interactive models, the bus tour and the explanations of the physics” WB “I learnt that they used CO2 as coolant at Hinkley Point A and B, but that water will be used at Hinkley Point C as it is better.” OW “I learnt that Hinkley Point C on its own will be able to supply 7% of the UK’s energy demand, the equivalent of 6 million homes” JB “I learnt that HPC (protective clothing) is very efficient and advanced.” WB