L3 MAPPS wins Koeberg simulator upgrade deal

01 March 2017

The two simulators at South Africa's Koeberg nuclear power plant are to be upgraded by Canada-based L3 MAPPS, taking into account the changes that the replacement of steam generators in the actual units will make on the plant's performance.

Second Koeberg simulator - 460 (L3 MAPPS)
Koeberg's second simulator (Image: J Lagerwall/L3 MAPPS)

Under a contract announced yesterday with utility Eskom, L3 MAPPS will perform a multi-phase project to upgrade the simulators. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

In the initial phase, L3 MAPPS will replatform the two simulators from PC/Linux simulation servers to new PC/Windows-based computers running its latest Orchid simulation environment. The reactor core model of the simulators will also be replaced with a newer model. This first phase is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018.

L3 MAPPS will then update the existing steam generator models to take account of changes resulting from the new steam generators that will be installed at the plant.

In the third and final stage, once the replacement steam generators have been installed, a further update will be made to the steam generator models to ensure they are behaving in the exact same manner as the newly commissioned steam generators.

Koeberg, operated by Eskom, is the only nuclear power station on the African continent. Its two pressurized water reactors have been in operation since the mid-1980s and provide 5% of South Africa's electricity.

In September 2014, Eskom awarded a contract worth ZAR 4.3 billion ($327 million) to Areva for six replacement steam generators for the Koeberg plant. The contract will see Areva design, manufacture and install the replacement steam generators. The group will also provide associated engineering services. Installation of the components is expected to take place during scheduled shutdowns of the two units in 2018.

In 2013, L3 MAPPS completed work to upgrade the plant's original simulator and also commissioned the second full-scope simulator at the site. That work was carried out under contracts signed in 2009.

"We have been supporting Eskom since 2002 and have thoroughly enjoyed working together on interesting and challenging projects that deliver innovative technological solutions," said Michael Chatlani, vice president of marketing and sales for L3 MAPPS Power Systems and Simulation.

Willem van der Sandt, project manager for strategic nuclear projects at Koeberg, said: "Eskom and L3 MAPPS have made significant achievements together towards enhancing the operator training program at Koeberg through our collective work on the simulators."

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

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News