Realistic Simulation for Nuclear Power Plants

Improve nuclear power plants during design, construction, operation and decommissioning

Nuclear power plants offer the possibility of producing energy with a low carbon footprint, but they are also faced with numerous engineering challenges at each stage of a plant’s lifecycle, including design, construction, operation, safe decommissioning and spent-fuel storage. Significant technical advances made over the past several years have allowed nuclear energy to once again become a key option to meet the world’s need for clean energy. Despite these technical achievements, considerable challenges remain to increase nuclear energy plant safety, efficiency and reliability, and to develop acceptable solutions for managing spent nuclear fuel.

SIMULIA solutions are playing a key role in helping the industry address these critical challenges. Abaqus Unified FEA helps improve nuclear power plants at each stage of their lifecycle-design, construction, operation and decommissioning. Abaqus provides accurate solutions and sophisticated capabilities, such as fracture and failure analysis, a wide range of material models for plasticity and creep, and static/dynamic analysis of metal and concrete structures that meet the demanding quality standards for nuclear plant design, construction and maintenance. It is used for various aspects of a nuclear power plant, including evaluation of reactors, piping, and turbines; safety assessments of accident scenarios, earthquakes (seismic assessments), or impact events; evaluation of storage options for spent nuclear fuel; and for safe decommissioning.

Quality Assurance

The Quality Management System used to design, develop, deliver and support the Abaqus Unified FEA product suite has been certified to meet the ISO 9001:2015 standard. For your reference, our ISO certificate can be viewed here

Our Quality Management System includes various provisions of particular benefit to customers in the nuclear energy industry, as follows:

  • Designed to be consistent with and to conform to NQA-1 Subpart 2.7: Quality Assurance Requirements of Computer Software for Nuclear Facility Applications which specifies practices for developing, using, maintaining or procuring software used in nuclear safety-related applications
  • Consistent with the requirements of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Rules and Regulations, Title 10, Chapter 1, Code of Federal Regulation, Part 50, Appendix B, Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants
  • Includes consideration of Title 10, Chapter 1, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, Reporting of Defects and Noncompliances for commercial grade items
  • An automated hardware system verification tool, which provides a way to ensure that customer hardware running the Abaqus solvers provides the same results data as that obtained at SIMULIA during Quality Assurance testing
  • Inputs and validated outputs for Abaqus Verification Guide tests cases
  • Publication of Potentially Serious errors. A defect is Potentially Serious when one behavior should occur, but the software is providing a wrong result or behavior and this is not obvious to the user.  A defect is assessed as Potentially Serious without regard for the frequency at which it may occur.
  • A Certificate of Conformance with each release
  • Extensive acceptance, verification, and validation testing, including the daily execution of over 60,000 automated tests

Solution Capabilities

  • Nuclear Energy Industry accepted Quality Assurance and Quality Monitoring Services (QMS)
  • State-of-the-art capabilities for modeling fracture and failure, including XFEM-based solutions
  • Linear and nonlinear static and dynamic analyses, including explicit dynamics for impact or other short duration events and linear dynamics for seismic assessments
  • Multiphysics capabilities such as coupled thermal-mechanical, fluid-structure interaction, coupled thermal-mechanical-pore fluid diffusion etc.
  • Industry-leading contact capabilities, including automatic contact detection and general contact
  • Extensive collection of material models for metals (including plasticity, creep, and other effects), soil, concrete etc.
  • Bi-directional associativity with CATIA V5, SolidWorks, and Pro/ENGINEER and geometry translation from other CAD systems
  • Integrated simulation capabilities within the CATIA V5 environment using Abaqus technology
  • State-of-the art capabilities for automating the exploration of design alternatives and identification of optimal performance parameters for various nuclear power plant components and systems
  • Simulation Lifecycle Management solutions to accelerate collaborative decision making
  • Fatigue modeling capabilities using fe-safe