Halden upgrades MMI lab

30 July 1998

As part of the Hammlab 2000 project, Thomson Training and Simulation has just delivered an engineering simulator to the OECD Halden Reactor Project in Norway.

The goal of the Hammlab 2000 project is to make the Halden Man-machine Laboratory (Hammlab) a global centre of excellence for man-machine interface (MMI) studies in industrial process control. Currently Halden is using one simulator, of a plant in Finland. One of the aims of the Hammlab 2000 project is to upgrade Hammlab’s capabilities with three more simulators. Thomson T&S is providing a full scope simulator representing the Fessenheim 1 PWR operated by France’s EDF. Another simulator will be of a BWR and the third, an oil production simulator.

The Thomson simulator will meet the same requirements as modern training simulators concerning operational scope and dynamic behaviour. In addition, it must allow configuration flexibility and be open for interfacing new software systems such as man-machine interfaces and operator support systems.


The extended scope of the new simulator will allow the Halden Project to perform studies in a broad operational domain within Hammlab’s fundamental activities: support of basic human factors research such as human error; testing and evaluation of new operator support systems; testing of man-machine interfaces; testing of automation levels; studies of control rooms etc.

Some modifications of the simulator regarding a new man-machine interface and a new alarm system are already being planned by the Halden Project to fit the Hammlab design and purpose.


The high flexibility required for future modifications will be covered by the use of the Thomson Training and Simulation software workshop SWORD (Software Workshop Oriented towards Research and Development), a field-proven integrated development environment which will:

• Provide management and automated production of simulation software.

• Ensure software quality and consistency.

• Cover all phases of the life cycle, in accordance with state-of-the-art software engineering methodology.

• Allow handling of large simulations including several hundred thousand variables and several million lines of code.

With SWORD, Halden’s specialists will be able to:

• Introduce and test modifications in the logistics, regulations, control loops, fluid network etc.

• Connect new tools.

• Easily implement new software configurations.

• Benefit from the large number of checks performed automatically at all stages of the software configuration, necessary for the safe management of more than 3 million Fortran lines.


All the control room equipment is simulated and can be activated through the photo panels, which are a computerised representation of the conventional Fessenheim panels. These photo panels are realistic with control performed by a mouse.

Moreover, the scope of the simulation is dependent on the sophistication of the modelling, in particular of the physical modelling, and this depends on the computing power.

The modelling makes use of off-the-shelf codes such as:

• The thermohydraulic code CATHARE-SIMU, the real time release of the French code CATHARE developed by EDF, the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique and Framatome for design and safety studies. It allows the simulation of all operating conditions including intermediate primary breaks (12”).

• The neutronic code directly issued from EDF’s fuel management code LIBELLULE which provides updating of the core parameter values in relation to core loading and burn-up.

• The models obtained through the code generators of SWORD for the instrumentation and control, hydraulic network, steam network and electrical systems.

Thomson Training and Simulation simulators can run either on UNIX or Windows NT multiprocessor architectures.


The simulator has a number of features particularly useful for man-machine interface studies.

The instructor station enhanced by a large library of displays (about 130 are available) is a very flexible tool. It can be configured into session preparation, session display and session post-analysis.

The operation of the simulated plant is performed through photo panels. These displays are based on general control room images and on images of each control panel. They remove the need to build a mock-up of a control room to run a simulation.

The echographic system displays in real time, with true to life imagery, the various phenomena that may occur inside the nuclear steam supply system, therefore providing important teaching potential.

Halden Reactor Project

The Halden Reactor Project is an internationally funded and staffed research organisation based in Halden, Norway, operated by the Norwegian Institutt for Energiteknikk. The research project is managed under the auspices of the Nuclear Energy Agency. 16 European nations, plus the United States, Japan, South Korea and Brazil are sponsoring the work. The research activities of the Institutt are focused on safety, efficiency and environmental issues within the following areas: the nuclear industry, electricity production, multiphase transport, oil/gas production, oil field and energy conservation. In the nuclear field its specific interests are fuels and materials and the man-machine interface.

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