Cernavoda nuclear power plant simulatorCanada-based L3Harris Technologies has been selected by Romania’s Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) to upgrade the Cernavodă NPP operator training simulator. L3Harris will modernise the simulator’s ageing hardware and improve its software performance and maintainability. The upgraded facility is expected to be in service in the third quarter of 2021.

Dan Bigu, Cernavodă NPP Director said: “Extending the service life of the full scope simulator is an important element for continued initial, authorisation and reauthorisation training, as SNN prepares for the refurbishment of the unit 1 reactor.”

The first stage of the project will see L3Harris upgrade the simulation computers and operating systems, while re-platforming the existing plant models to the Orchid simulation environment. The primary heat transport, boilers and containment models will be redeveloped in Orchid Modelling Environment. The simulator will also be enhanced to include severe accident simulation capabilities using a version of the Modular Accident Analysis Program, known as MAAP5-CANDU. This will be augmented with 2D and 3D animated, interactive visualisations of the reactor vessel and containment building to provide trainees further insights into the behaviour of the plant during unlikely severe accidents.

During the second phase of the project, the simulator’s AC and DC power supplies will be replaced, and the legacy Datapath SC input/output (I/O) system will be replaced with a new compact I/O system.

The Cernavoda nuclear power plant currently comprises two Candu 6 reactors which were supplied by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), now Candu Energy, and built by a Canadian-Italian consortium of AECL and Ansaldo.

The Cernavoda site was initially planned to host five units. Cernavoda 1 started up in 1996, but work on the other reactors was suspended in 1991. Cernavoda 2 was subsequently completed and began operation in 2007. Cernavoda 3 is 15% complete.

In May SNN and China General Nuclear (CGN) signed an agreement to set up a joint venture company for the completion of the two units. CGN will hold a 51% stake in the company with Nuclearelectrica holding the remaining 49%. Romania’s foreign minister, Ramona Manesco, recently said the aim is to refurbish Cernavoda 1 and by 2030 to build a new unit on the same site. Beyond 2030 Romania is considering new Generation IV reactors including small modular reactors.

Photo: Simulator at Cernavoda nuclear power plant (Credit: L3Harris)