Nawah Energy Company awarded WSC a major multi-year contract to provide simulation and engineering services for the upgrade of the Barakah Full-Scope Nuclear Power Plant Simulators with the latest data used for Barakah Unit 1. Nawah is currently using three Full-Scope simulators (FSS) to train personnel and license operators for the plant commissioning and operation of the four Barakah Nuclear Power Plants. Nawah is currently finalizing manufacturing of 2 more FSS to supplement their training capacity. At the BNPP, the first unit has completed plant startup and continues its Power Ascension Testing. The second unit is ready for fuel with units 3 and 4 closely nearing completion of construction.
For Phase 2 of the simulator upgrade, WSC established a subcontract with the Westinghouse Electrical Company (WEC) to provide data for the Safety DCS (AC160) and Non-Safety DCS (Ovation) systems, including the development of an Ovation DCS translator. The safety and non-safety DCS data utilized translators to convert actual plant DCS configuration files into an automated-emulator of the I&C and user interface graphics. This approach added multiple advantages to the simulator capability, including replicating the actual I&C and allowing these systems to be updated using translators for the lifetime of the plants. This also enhances the simulator capability by enabling it to be used for fully testing the I&C in a simulated environment for normal plant evolutions, transients, and abnormal conditions before plant commissioning.
In part, Nawah simulation staff are receiving training for future use of both the AC160 and Ovation translators for future upgrade of the simulator - as new DCS Base Line versions are released.
In addition, WSC completed an engineering-grade severe accident model using MELCOR, as well as Simulation Assisted Engineering (SAE) grade models for the Main BOP Loop & Safety Systems using a combination of RELAP5 and FlowBase models, which are integrated with the updated simulator.
This vast and complex project had many technical challenges such as data verification in the areas under question and reporting any data issues, integration of models and translated complex DCS, debugging issues while tracking signals within translated DCS controllers and displays, and testing and test procedures to name a few.
The project FAT and SAT scheduled in 2020 were severely disrupted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The WSC team could not support the project at WSC where the limited scope Barakah simulator is set up for FAT testing. To keep the project team on the project, and continue with the project, WSC made substantial arrangements for support of testing. Only one Nawah test operator could work in isolation in the WSC office and the engineering team worked off-site via VPN support. A portion of SAT was performed at WSC before the project was shifted to site with limited WSC engineering support at the Barakah site after the engineers' two-week quarantine in UAE. The project achieved RFT on December 4, 2020
Barakah Full-Scope Simulator at Barakah Training Center
Engineers working on Barakah Simulator at WSC before Pandemic