A full-scope simulator has been inaugurated for unit 1 of Brazil's Angra NPP - the first simulator in Brazil for training nuclear operators. The ceremony on 18 February was attended by representatives from Brazilian nuclear utility Eletronuclear and the simulator supplier, Spanish engineering company Tecnatom. Eleven groups, each of about five students, are expected to be trained on the Angra 1 simulator each year. New Brazilian NPP operators were previously trained using the simulator at the Almaraz plant in Spain. Angra 1, a 626MWe pressurised water reactor, started up in 1982.
Eletronuclear awarded Tecnatom a contract in January 2012 for the development, manufacturing, installation, validation and commissioning of a full-scope replica simulator for Angra 1. Factory acceptance tests were completed in May 2014 at Tecnatom's facility in San Sebastian de los Reyes, near Madrid. It was then disassembled and transported to Eletronuclear's training centre in Mambucaba. In November 2014, the simulator passed final acceptance tests and declared "ready for training".
Eletronuclear director of operations and marketing João Carlos da Cunha Bastos said that Angra 1 had "faced many challenges" at the start, but that these had been overcome. "The modifications made over time - especially with the change of the steam generators and the replacement of the reactor vessel cover - have enabled it to attain good performance," he said. "We are sure that we are establishing all the essentials for Angra 1 to operate safely and efficiently, and to have its life extended until 2024," he added.