Plant modifications affect simulator upgrades in Switzerland and Slovakia

17 May 2012

Canadian firm L-3 MAPPS has announced that it plans to update the full scope simulator at Axpo’s Beznau nuclear power plant in Switzerland. Meanwhile, simulator vendor GSE Systems has revealed that work on a full scope simulator for a plant in Slovakia has been suspended.

Both announcements come as plants begin implementing significant modifications as a results of the post-Fukushima safety assessments or ‘stress tests,’ which must be mimicked in the simulators.

The updates to the Beznau simulator are expected to be completed by the autumn of 2013, well in advance of the actual plant modifications going in services in order to train Beznau’s operators, L-3 MAPPS said in a statement.

The projects involve NEXIS and AUTANOVE updates being performed on the plant’s two operating units, it said.

For the AUTANOVE project, the existing remote hydro plant emergency power supply is being replaced with two on-site diesel generators for each operating unit. The NEXIS project will involve the modification of the interface to the existing plant information system to allow communication with the Ovation system supplied by Westinghouse.

For the AUTANOVE project, L-3 MAPPS plans to leverage its Orchid® Modeling Environment to remodel the electrical emergency power supply, including power distribution. The new diesel generators will be fully simulated with their auxiliary and control systems and L-3 MAPPS will develop the control logic that will be added to start up the diesel generators and sequentially turn on the necessary equipment. Other related plant changes will also be modelled, including the addition of a feeding system to the emergency feedwater system and a seal water pump to the seal injection water supply to the reactor coolant pump, each controlled by AREVA’s Teleperm XS.

Meanwhile, in May GSE Systems announced that work on a project to provide a full scope simulator for a two-unit plant in Slovakia has been suspended. GSE said that the decision to suspend work was due to changes in Slovakian regulation that require Slovenské Elektrárne to redesign certain aspects of the plant.

“GSE is currently negotiating with SE regarding ways the companies can continue to work together, including supporting the project during the suspension period, and other hardware and software changes that SE would like incorporated into the final simulator,” GSE said in a statement.

GSE Systems, which announced its first quarter results on 15 May, was awarded contracts worth $17.8 million in the first three months of 2012, including two separate contracts with Chinese nuclear engineering companies to provide simulator solutions worth, in total, $7.5 million.


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