3D Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Plant Maintenance.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich - Dassault Systèmes today announced that Entergy Corp., the second largest nuclear power operator in the U.S. managing 10 commercial sites with a total of 12 reactors, is leveraging Dassault Systèmes solutions for 3D digital modeling, planning, and simulation of maintenance tasks.
At Entergy’s Waterford 3 plant near New Orleans, Louisiana, the company simulated multiple maintenance projects using solutions from Dassault Systèmes. Projects included analyzing the impact of a potential fire on equipment located in key areas of the plant, replacing the in-core instrumentation sensor system that monitors reactor fuel conditions, and removing and replacing a reactor coolant pump motor that weighs 57 tons.
Entergy implemented a combination of Dassault Systèmes technologies to prepare for these upcoming maintenance tasks, including CATIA for modeling the plant and DELMIA to simulate the actual project work. To ensure the team had accurate dimensions of the plant, Entergy used scanning and digital photogrammetry from Dassault Systèmes’ partner Areva NP. BCP Engineers & Consultants served as the prime contractor for the projects. Entergy plans to use ENOVIA from Dassault Systèmes in the future for managing assets and engineering projects.
Modeling and simulating the replacement of the reactor coolant pump motor was particularly important since any unanticipated delays during the project could cost as much as $1 million per day in replacement power purchased from other utility companies. The reactor coolant pump, motor, and controls were moved into the containment building during construction in the early 1980s, but many structural elements have been added over the past 25 years that were not in the original design.
Waterford 3 leveraged CATIA digital 3D models that were created during the fire safety planning project. The up-to-date, dimensionally exact model of the reactor containment area made it possible to find equipment and structural conflicts when simulating the removal of the coolant pump motor. Two interferences were detected by modeling and simulating the task in DELMIA that might have caused major delays.
“Harvesting the use of 3D along with laser scanning technology is as transformational to the engineering and project management disciplines as moving from the slide rule to calculators was in the late 1960s and early ‘70s,” said John Mahoney, innovations leader for Entergy’s Nuclear Operations. “Combining scanning and modeling with up-to-date, advanced planning allows processes that could dramatically reduce the old industry-wide steam generator replacement average of 78.5 days. In some cases that time could be reduced by nearly 20%.”
In the future, Entergy hopes to link the project schedule activities to the 3D model, which will provide the opportunity to continue to effectively shrink outage schedules through critical path scenario optimization.
“Dassault Systèmes is excited to see the results of DELMIA solutions successfully applied in the energy sector,” said Rolf Gibbels, director, energy industry for Dassault Systèmes. “Benefits that have been realized for decades in the manufacturing world are now being applied to complex construction and maintenance challenges in power generation.”
Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, Entergy Nuclear and its EquaGen LLC unit, own and operate the second largest nuclear fleet in North America with 11,022 megawatts of nuclear generating capacity, enough power for nearly 10 million homes. The physical plant work is to be completed in the fall of 2009 when the new reactor coolant pump motor will be installed.
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