A ceremony has been held to inaugurate the new full-scope simulator for unit 1 of Brazil's Angra nuclear power plant. It is the first simulator in the country for training nuclear operators.

Eletronuclear and Tecnatom representatives mark the inauguration of the Angra 1 simulator (Image: Eletronuclear)

Yesterday's ceremony was attended by representatives from Brazilian nuclear utility Eletronuclear and the simulator supplier, Spanish engineering company Tecnatom. They included Eletronuclear president Pedro Figueiredo and Tecnatom CEO Javier Guerra.

Eletronuclear awarded Tecnatom a contract in January 2012 for the development, manufacturing, installation, validation and commissioning of a full-scope replica simulator for Angra 1.

The simulator completed factory acceptance tests in May 2014 at Tecnatom's facility in San Sebastian de los Reyes, near Madrid. It was then disassembled and transported to Eletronuclear's training centre in Mambucaba. In November 2014, the simulator passed final acceptance tests and declared "ready for training".

The simulator features technology wholly developed by Tecnatom, including the simulation models, the graphic user interface and the hardware interface, as well as the configuration management system.

Eletronuclear director of operations and marketing João Carlos da Cunha Bastos said that Angra 1 had "faced many challenges" at the start, but that these had been overcome. "The modifications made over time - especially with the change of the steam generators and the replacement of the reactor vessel cover - have enabled it to attain good performance," he said. "We are sure that we are establishing all the essentials for Angra 1 to operate safely and efficiently, and to have its life extended until 2024," he added.

Simulators are a vital piece of equipment for training plant operators, both at the start of their careers and for their continuing training. They replicate control room panels and help train students in reactor operations under normal conditions and in emergency situations.

Eleven groups, each of about five students, are expected to be trained on the Angra 1 simulator each year. New Brazilian nuclear power plant operators have up until now undergone training at the simulator at the Almaraz plant in Spain.

Angra 1, a 626 MWe pressurised water reactor, started up in 1982. It is the smallest and oldest of Brazil's two operating nuclear reactors.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Friday, 19 February 2016
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Angra-1-simulator-inaugurated