L-3 MAPPS to upgrade Fermi 2 simulator

28 September 2016

The full-scope operator training simulator at unit 2 of the Fermi nuclear power plant in Michigan is to be upgraded by Canada-based L-3 MAPPS under contracts signed with operator DTE Energy.

Fermi 2 simulator - 460 (L-3 MAPPS)
Fermi 2's full-scope simulator (Image: L-3 MAPPS)

As part of the upgrade, the simulator's plant models will be updated to account for FLEX modification. The "diverse and flexible coping capability" (or FLEX) strategy was an industry initiative announced in February 2012 to implement the NRC's Fukushima task force recommendations. The FLEX update on the simulator includes the addition of an alternative source of cooling water and an external compressor to drive the non-interruptible air supply system. The simulator's off-gas control system will also be modified to reflect updates performed at the plant.

The simulator's audio-visual system - which includes analog cameras and microphones - will also be replaced with digital equipment. The audio-visual system is used to monitor and record operators in the full-scope simulator control room environment during training and for instructors to debrief trainees following training sessions.

A separate contract covers the supply of a classroom simulator with three bays, each equipped with four large touchscreen monitors to display and operate enhanced virtual panel graphics of the simulated control room.

These projects are scheduled to be completed in early 2017, L-3 MAPPS said.

Simulators are a vital piece of equipment for plant operators, both at the start of their careers and for their continued training.

Fermi 2 is an 1198 MWe General Electric boiling water reactor that started operating in 1985.

L-3 performed a comprehensive refurbishment of the Fermi 2 simulator's computers, instructor stations and simulation models in September 2006. Under a contract awarded in 2012, the company updated all of the simulation computers to the latest generation, as well as migrating the models and simulator maintenance tools from the previous generation of its software to its newer Orchid simulation environment. In addition, L-3 provided DTE Energy with an additional simulator specifically to train staff on emergency diesel generator operations.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News