Areva's simulator upgrade

01 February 2008

An earlier version of this story described Cathare as a product of L-3 MAPPS. World Nuclear News is grateful to the staff of that company for pointing out that this was incorrect.


Areva will upgrade three nuclear power plant simulators at its Paris headquarters. L-3 MAPPS - a Canadian subsidiary of New York-based L-3 Communications - has been awarded the contract.


The deal will see L-3 MAPPS integrate its Cathare thermal-hydraulic calculation code into the existing engineering simulator suites to enhance study the behaviour of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) in accident situations.


Areva Tower

The Areva Tower
The simulators - known as Simulateurs d'Analyse du Fonctionnement (SAF) - are located at the Areva Tower in Paris La Défense. They are used to perform plant engineering and emergency response training, operating procedures analysis and improvement, system design modifications, and preliminary safety analysis. As France's national nuclear champion, Areva has supplied 63 PWRs globally. 


The three simulators represent the CP2 (900 MWe, 3-loop), DPY (1300 MWe, 4-loop) and N4 (1450 MWe, 4-loop) designs. Through a previous collaboration with Areva, both the CP2 and the DPY simulators operate on L-3's PC/Windows-based simulation environment. The N4 simulator will be re-hosted by L-3 and available in L-3's simulation environment through the current project. In addition, L-3 will replace the N4 simulator's conventional island and electrical systems models with what it called higher fidelity models.

The Cathare software has been in development for three decades, through cooperation with engineers from the French Commission for Atomic Energy (CEA), Electricité de France (EdF), Areva and the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).


Through cooperation with Candu designer Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), or directly with power generation utilities, L-3 MAPPS has also been supplying Candu plant computer systems - known as Digital Control Computer (DCC) systems - for nuclear power plants since 1970. DCC systems are used to monitor and control all the major reactor and power plant functions. L-3 MAPPS has sold 29 DCC systems for Candu plants in Argentina, Canada, China, Italy, Korea and Romania.