Big Data to support Bruce Power operations

12 May 2017

Digital technology developed in Rolls-Royce's aerospace business to improve operational efficiency will be implemented across Bruce Power's nuclear fleet under a multi-year contract between the two companies. The contract will see Rolls-Royce implement its T-104 technology to optimise the operational lifetime of Bruce Power's nuclear power plants as part of Bruce's Life-Extension Program. The technology enables intelligence from world-wide nuclear operating data to be converted into insights to help improve operational efficiency.

L-R Michael W. Rencheck, president and CEO of Bruce Power, Robert Fletcher, president of nuclear services and projects at Rolls-Royce, and Paul Tobin, executive vice president, nuclear engineering services at Rolls-Royce. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce employees will be "embedded" at Bruce Power so that the two organisations can work closely together to use Rolls-Royce's data to improve equipment reliability, reduce inventories and maintenance and materials costs, while improving operational and supply chain practices. The end result is expected to be dramatic operating cost reductions as well as major reductions in capital tied up in parts inventories, the companies say.

Rolls-Royce expands Canadian presence

Rolls-Royce today announced the opening of its third Nuclear Services office in Canada. The office, in Port Elgin, Ontario, will be the focal point of the implementation of the T-104 optimisation program across Bruce Power, the company said.

The technology exploits so-called Big Data - a term used for data sets of a very large size, typically so large that its manipulation and management present significant logistical challenges. With suitable analysis tools, Big Data can be used to reveal useful business and operational information such as previously unrecognised trends or behaviour.

"Big Data analytics is a core competency at Rolls-Royce," Paul Tobin, the company's executive vice president for nuclear projects and services, said. "We developed this capability in our aerospace business where monitoring and mining the enormous data volumes continuously generated by aircraft engines and other aircraft systems has allowed us to achieve massive reductions in operating costs, while concurrently improving safety and reliability. We are now applying the same know-how coupled with our worldwide nuclear operating data and expertise to deliver high-value solutions for the nuclear power generation industry."

Bruce Power CEO Mike Rencheck said the contract promised benefits including operating cost savings. "By aligning with strong partners we can get the work done that will allow us to continue supplying 30% of Ontario's electricity at 30% less than the average cost to generate residential power," he said.

Bruce Power's eight Candu reactors provide 30% of Ontario's electricity and played a central role in the province's phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation. In January last year, the company launched its multi-year Life-Extension Program under an agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator, the government corporation responsible for Ontario's power supply. Bruce unit 6 will be the first unit to undergo refurbishment, beginning in 2020, and the program, which will take until 2053 to complete, will ensure the units' continued operation until 2064.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News