The first of three US nuclear power plants for which GSE is building a full-scope second simulator has reached another major project milestone. Completion of Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) was signified by shipment and installation at site. Approximately 20 panels were loaded onto trucks for site delivery and installation in May.
Both GSE and the customer checked fidelity and performance of the simulator during FAT to ensure:
- Physical Fidelity
- Ensure panels match the actual plant configuration
- Model Dynamic Fidelity
- Verify new and ported models perform as expected
- Simulation Platform Performance
- Verify platform performance and dynamics, including instructor interface, perform as expected
The panels were carefully unloaded from the delivery trucks at their new home. This newly constructed building at the plant site is adjacent to the existing training building. In addition to the simulator room, the new building also includes more classrooms.
Site Acceptance Testing — the next phase of the project
GSE’s team of hardware and simulator engineers are currently on site assisting with site integration and the kickoff of Site Acceptance Testing (SAT). They will be supporting the project through SAT and declaration of “Ready-For-Training”.
During SAT, GSE and the customer will verify and validate;
- The integrity of the system following shipment and site installation,
- Updates following FAT, and
- Performance of interfacing systems installed at site.
‘Second Simulator’ projects continue to move forward
While the first of three simulators undergoes SAT, GSE is continuing work on the second simulator for two more of the customer’s existing nuclear power plant simulators. These second simulators replicate the plant’s existing full-scope operator training simulators which were being stressed to handle all of the training needs of the organization.
Adding bandwidth to increase trainee throughput for new licensed operators
With looming retirements requiring a backfill of licensed operators, simulator availability is becoming a quality of life issue for both instructors and operators. The sheer number of training exercises, requiring the simulator, has meant long periods of backshift simulator time. The added bandwidth from these new simulators will allow the required training to be completed during normal working hours.
Opportunities to improve plant and human performance
A plant’s simulator is earmarked first and foremost for operator training. Often times any other purposes have to be put on the back burner in order to meet all of the training requirements. But the simulator can be a valuable tool for departments, such as engineering. A second simulator opens the possibilities for studying human factors engineering, performing verification and validation of plant changes, and the virtual commissioning of control system modifications.
Learn more about second simulators in our previous blog posts, Prevent Training Bottlenecks: 4.5 Reasons Why a Second Simulator Makes Good Sense and 3 tips for planning your second simulator project.