Canada-based simulator company, L-3 MAPPS, has recently celebrated the opening of the new upgraded training simulator at EDF Energy’s Heysham 1 nuclear power station in the UK.

The simulator upgrade was carried out in three phases, all of which were completed ahead of schedule and on budget, says Michael Chatlani, vice president of marketing & sales at L-3 MAPPS.

In the first phase of the project involved replacing L-3’s previous generation of simulation software development and maintenance tools with a subset of L-3’s Orchid® products, including the Orchid Simulator Executive, Orchid Configuration Manager, Orchid Instructor Station, Orchid Network Loader, Orchid Modeling Environment and Orchid Graphic Editor. This phase was declared ‘ready for training’ in January 2013.

In the second phase, completed in February 2014, the simulator’s legacy balance of plant and electrical system models were replaced with higher-fidelity models developed with Orchid Modeling Environment.

The third phase involved expanding the legacy simulator to incorporate both Reactor 1 and Reactor 2 control desks, resulting in a fully integrated dual-unit control room simulation environment, L-3 said. Phase 3 was completed last month, and the simulator was officially opened on 22 October 2014.

"The upgrade to simulate both reactors helps my operators train on all different types of plant operation in a very representative and realistic environment," said Ian Stewart, Heysham 1’s station director. "I’d like to thank everyone involved in delivering this project, which has been a positive and significant investment in our training facilities."

Heysham 1, a two unit advanced-gas-cooled-reactor station, began operation in 1983 and has a gross electrical output of 1160 MW.

Photo: Upgraded Heysham 1 simulator opening ceremony attended by (L-R) Michael Chatlani, vice president of sales & marketing, Ian Stewart, Heysham 1’s station director and Mark Gorry, EDF Energy’s Region 1 chief nuclear officer.