First AP1000 operators get training

11 January 2013

New control room simulators will be used in the training of operators for the AP1000 units currently under construction at Sanmen and Haiyang in China. The first batch of operators is set to qualify by the end of this year.

AP1000 control room simulator (Westinghouse) 460
AP1000 control room simulators, such as the one above, have been installed at Sanmen and Haiyang (Image: Westinghouse)

The simulators, supplied by GSE Systems, are housed in replica control rooms at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites. They use the same instrumentation and controls as will be used in the actual operator workstations.

So far, 34 prospective AP1000 reactor operators have been trained with the simulator at the Sanmen site, Westinghouse reported. They have been studying for 18 months in preparation to take licence examinations with the China National Nuclear Safety Administration in November this year. On passing these exams, they will become the world's first licensed AP1000 nuclear plant operators. Another 36 students are scheduled to complete training at Sanmen next month. Meanwhile, a new class of potential operators will start simulator training at Haiyang within the next few months.

In September 2007, Westinghouse and its partners the Shaw Group received authorization to construct four AP1000 units China: two at Sanmen in Zhejian province and two more at Haiyang in Shandong province.

Sanmen unit 1 is expected to be the first AP1000 to begin operating. The unit is expected to begin generating electricity in 2014. All four Chinese AP1000s are scheduled to be in operation by 2016.

In addition to the four AP1000s under construction in China, four more are to be built in the USA: two at the Vogtle site in Georgia and two at VC Summer in South Carolina. GSE has also been awarded contracts to supply simulators for both of these plants. The Vogtle units should begin operation in 2016 and 2017 while the Summer reactors are expected to enter operation in 2017 and 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News