Nuclear operators to benefit from immersive 3D simulations
July 14th, 2022
Duke Energy One and L3Harris have partnered to offer an unprecedented joint solution to improve nuclear plant operations and maintenance, which will provide complete 3D simulations of operating nuclear facilities.
Nuclear energy is imperative for individuals, companies and communities around the globe. The good news is that the nuclear industry is beginning to accept virtual reality technology to train nuclear operators, while optimizing site operations, improving safety and reducing costs. Additionally, the power of strong, progressive companies teaming up to put the tools needed for success into the hands of nuclear operators is phenomenal. Duke Energy and L3Harris are offering the industry a suite of tools to lead the way with better planning, safety and cost efficiency.
“This suite of tools can build customised virtual spaces that mimic actual nuclear facilities – giving nuclear operators access to lifelike layouts and making it easier and faster to develop plans for ensuring continued safe, reliable, efficient and cost-effective operations,” said Lon Huber, senior vice president, pricing and customer solutions at Duke Energy.
Realistic 3D environments can be created through virtual reality, which simulate nuclear power plants from inside and make it possible to train operators. In this environment, nuclear operators can practice onsite activities through virtual interaction with control panels, equipment, systems and fuel. They can also practice to provide optimal response in complicated situations, for instance, emergency evacuation, leaks, fire, etc. It would not be possible to create such situations in real life for the purpose of training. The environments created through virtual reality are incredibly realistic and trainees get an immersive experience, which aids them to learn to respond accurately as they would be required to do in an actual situation onsite.
Collaboration between Duke Energy One and L3Harris
Changing the physical world or reality with an emulation close to reality is known as virtual reality. It is executed by creating a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment that simulates reality, as we know it. Virtual reality is used in many fields, some of which are, entertainment, education, training, design, medicine and engineering.
The 3D Metrology Services program at Duke Energy One designs “as-built” 3D models of nuclear power plants with ultramodern 3D laser scanning technology, for each facility.
The data is then paired to an immersive and collaborative environment by L3Harris, which provides a whole suite of productive, decision-making tools that include scenarios authoring, live plant simulation links, radiation simulation, data enhancement and enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration, allowing access to critical asset information in one place. A unique display environment, without headsets, for teams, known as Orchid ® IX, may be coupled with the immersive simulations.
Duke Energy One is an unregulated, wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, which improves the financial positions of its customers, helps them optimize their energy systems, and achieve sustainability goals.
L3Harris has been designing and innovating solutions for nuclear utilities for nearly 50 years. These solutions are for light water reactors, heavy water reactors, gas-cooled reactors, and now small modular reactors, according to Rangesh Kasturi, president, Maritime International, L3Harris.
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.
Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear. More information is available at duke-energy.com.
To read Part Two of this blog, click here.