Belgium and China award simulator contracts

17 May 2018

Canada-based L3 MAPPS has been awarded a contract to upgrade the full scope operator training simulator it supplied for unit 1 of Belgium's Tihange nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, USA-based GSE Systems has been contracted to upgrade and provide simulators to Chinese reactors.

Tihange 1 full scope simulator - 460 (L3 MAPPS)
The full scope simulator at Tihange 1 (Image: L3 MAPPS)

L3 MAPPS was awarded a contract in December 2013 by Electrabel, itself a subsidiary of France's Engie, to supply a facility for Tihange 1 equipped with full replica control room panels, employing its graphical simulation tools for the plant models and instructor station. The new simulator - housed in the expanded training centre located at the Tihange plant - was declared ready for training in March 2016.

The company announced on 15 May that it has been awarded a new contract - the value of which has not been disclosed - by Electrabel to upgrade the simulator. The project involves several modifications, and the upgraded simulator is expected to be in service by mid-2019.

As part of the upgrade, eight remote emergency shutdown panels will be added for a simulated emergency shutdown room and changes will be made to the simulator's main control room and plant information systems. Emergency diesel generator panels will also be added, together with the ability to transfer plant control between the main control room and the emergency shutdown room using virtual panels. L3 MAPPS will also modify the Orchid simulation environment models to accommodate these changes and to include a new control and protection system for the simulated plant's two main turbines.

"The simulator expansion will enhance the training capabilities for the Tihange 1 operators to deal with unlikely emergency shutdowns if the main control room becomes inoperable," said Electrabel training instructor Raphaël Reuter. "With the expanded simulator, we will train the operators on the simulated modified plant before the changes are effective on the generating unit."

Tihange 1 is a 962 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) that began operating in 1975 and is scheduled to close in 2025. The site hosts two larger PWRs which started up in the early 1980s and are both also due to shut by 2025.

More Chinese contracts for GSE


Baltimore-based GSE Systems announced it has been awarded two further contracts from Chinese customers, worth a total of more than USD4 million.

Under one contract, GSE will provide simulation technology and engineering services to an unnamed customer for delivery of a full scope high-fidelity nuclear power plant simulator. The simulator will be enhanced with severe accident simulation capability. GSE said it has already developed and delivered two simulators to the same customer.

Under the second contract, GSE will provide real-time severe accident modelling technology to another customer to apply to their Chinese-designed CAP1400 plant simulator at a nuclear power plant site.

The CAP1400 is an enlarged version of the AP1000 pressurised water reactor developed from the Westinghouse original by State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, with consulting input from the Toshiba-owned company. Two demonstration CAP1400 units are to be built at Huaneng Group's Shidaowan site in Shandong province.

The contracts will commence by mid-year and will continue over the next two years.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News