Russia’s TVEL and St Petersburg Polytechnic to develop digital engineering technologies23 February 2021
Russia’s St Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) on 16 February signed a roadmap for the development of cooperation between Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL and the Competence Centre of the National Technological Initiative (NTI) SPbPU New Production Technologies. The document was signed by the President of TVEL Natalya Nikipelova and SPbPU Rector Andrey Rudskoy.
The Roadmap, calculated until the end of 2023, covers a wide range of scientific, technological and educational areas. Cooperation involves the use of digital methods and engineering technologies (digital twins and digital models) in the development and testing of new products and materials in a number of areas of TVEL’s activity.
In the field of nuclear fuel production, the roadmap provides for the creation of "digital twins" of fuel assemblies, the development of virtual test sites for testing hydrodynamic and strength characteristics, solving the problem of improving safety by optimising the fall time of the control and protection system controls. The introduction of the most advanced technological developments is also planned in non-nuclear areas of business. For example, a wide range of developments is planned in the field of Additive technologies, among them - the development of a high-temperature selective laser melting printer and a ceramic printer, the synthesis of metal powder for additive technologies from mechanical processing waste.
The Road Map assumes the development of digital engineering as a service for the customers of TVEL: creation of an automated digital engineering system, ensuring the joint work of Centrotech-Engineering divisions with multidisciplinary engineering analysis programs, including automatic report generation, statistics collection, and visual presentation calculation results for subsequent analysis.
The document provides for the organisation and holding of a series of scientific and practical seminars on the topic of modern approaches to the design and development of science-intensive technology, as well as the implementation of a joint master's programme "Computer Engineering and Digital Manufacturing" at SPbPU’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies. In addition, the joint work involves the development and implementation of retraining programmes and advanced training programmes for key employees of TVEL.
“Working in a highly competitive and changing market requires a company to solve complex science-intensive industry problems in a whole range of high-tech areas. Only through the use of the most advanced digital technologies can we meet modern challenges, form a new technological order, which already today determines the prospects for the company's development,” said Rudskoy. “These goals will be served by the implementation of the directions for product improvement, creation of new demanded products and materials, an automated digital engineering system, training and retraining of personnel, prepared jointly with the St Petersburg Polytechnic University and Rosatom enterprises.”
Since 2019, Rosatom has been a member of the consortium of the SPbPU NTI Centre. In almost all areas of the Centre's activities (digital design and modelling, creation and use of new materials - including composite, nanomaterials, metamaterials - additive technologies, smart-manufacturing technologies, hybrid production technologies), SPbPU is already developing about two dozen high-tech projects for TVEL enterprises. It is also developing projects for the Institute of Reactor Materials (IRM), the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) and Nuclear Safety Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (IBRAE RAS).