Atlanta _ March 20, 2006 _ Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced its Nuclear Life Extension Initiative, a campaign supporting the power industry’s current efforts to extend the life of nuclear plants. Due to the recent high price of oil, as well as the state of alternative energy sources, the focus of today’s nuclear owner/operators has shifted from decommissioning to re-licensing of nuclear power facilities. With a large number of nuclear power plants looking ahead to retrofit or decommissioning, the Nuclear Life Extension Initiative from DS is already addressing this clear market opportunity.
Southern California Edison is an example of an owner/operator using Dassault Systemes’ V5 PLM to simulate the entire retrofit and refurbishment of a nuclear facility. Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in California is 25-years old and needs to replace critical components, such as its four 65-foot tall, 620-ton steam generators
“When the plant was originally designed, a retrofit or replacement of the generators was never considered,” said Ralph Miller, design group supervisor, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. “Physical mock-ups for a project of this magnitude are impossible, so a virtual simulation of parts, processes and resources accurately communicates to the entire organization, both inside and outside of SONGS, how the retrofit will proceed.”
SONGS will use a PLM strategy to accurately model and simulate the entire steam generator replacement process, from the removal of the old, and the delivery of the new generators, to their staging and eventual insertion into the facility. A current user of Dassault Systemes’ CATIA and SMARTEAM solutions, SONGS has also recognized the value of DELMIA as a digital process simulation solution for the plant’s upcoming major retrofits. The nuclear engineering team uses DS tools to control and manage all project-related data and design files. These designs are critical to the successful simulation of SONGS’ Steam Generator Replacement project, targeted for 2009.
To prove the value of PLM in simulating and streamlining the critically important $680 million 2009 Steam Generator Replacement Project, SONGS used DELMIA to simulate a recent critical maintenance procedure on the SONGS nuclear reactor in a highly radioactive environment. The proof of concept’s specific goal was to validate the procedure’s work process by using DELMIA to add the time dimension to the simulation. The addition of that 4th dimension allowed SONGS to validate the work process with the physical and virtual mock-ups. The successful proof of concept allows SONGS and its suppliers to improve upcoming scheduled maintenance processes without using the actual physical mock-up and real people.
Within the first five minutes of reviewing the simulation SONGS discovered three alternate ways to perform the task more efficiently. At $1 million per day of downtime/outage, using 3D PLM to discover issues and possible problems that impact a schedule means money saved. A virtual simulation can ensure adherence to a tight schedule, budget and accurate manpower estimates, and is flexible enough to address dynamic, real-time changes.
In the case of SONGS, schedule and budget are critically important due to the strict $680 million budget allocated to Southern California Edison by the California Public Utilities Commission for the replacement of the four steam generators. For every day the project goes over schedule, Southern California Edison must shoulder the cost above and beyond the California Public Utilities Commission’s budget.
“The rising cost, the difficulty in building, and licensing time to bring a new plant online forces the energy industry to look at existing plants,” said Dassault Systemes’ Casas. “A plant, with an expected life of 40 years, can be extended for 20 more years through appropriate retrofitting and eventual re-licensing.”