Canada-based L3 MAPPS is to upgrade two simulators at South Africa's two-unit Koeberg nuclear plant, under a contract signed on 28 February with power utility Eskom.

L3 MAPPS will perform a multi-phase project to upgrade the simulators, taking into account the changes that the replacement of steam generators in the units will make on the plant's performance. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

L3 MAPPS will replatform the two simulators from PC/Linux simulation servers to new PC/Windows-based computers running its latest Orchid simulation environment. The reactor core model of the simulators will also be replaced with a newer model. This first phase is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018.

In the second phase, L3 MAPPS will update the steam generator models to take account of changes resulting from the new steam generators that will be installed at the plant. In the third and final stage, after replacement of the steam generators, a further update will be made to the steam generator models to ensure they are behaving in the exact same manner as the newly commissioned steam generators.

In September 2014, Eskom awarded a contract worth ZAR4.3bn ($327m) to Areva for six replacement steam generators for Koeberg. Under that contract,   Areva will design, manufacture and install the replacement steam generators. The group will also provide associated engineering services. Installation of the components is expected to take place during scheduled outages in 2018. In 2013, L3 MAPPS completed work to upgrade the plant's original simulator and also commissioned the second full-scope simulator at the site. That work was carried out under contracts signed in 2009.

Photo: Koeberg second simulator