Areva supports digital control room simulator for nuclear power plant in Central Virginia

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A digital control room simulator for a nuclear power plant is moving closer to reality for Central Virginia. Areva said Monday that it is donating software and intellectual property, coupled with a $935,641 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, to establish a simulator in the Center for Advanced Engineering & Research (CAER) facility in Bedford County.

“This is just another example of Areva investing in the future and building safety infrastructure for the next generation of nuclear power plants,” Mike Rencheck, COO for Areva Inc., said in a statement.

The mock-up control room will reside in CAER’s human factors engineering laboratory, a room 22 feet high with 2,600 square feet of space. It will allow industry experts to conduct human factors engineering tests. This specialized field of engineering, known as ergonomics, assists in product design and improves safety and reliability.

“A research facility like this one is unique and will be another step in making this region a nuclear energy hub for Virginia and the U S.,” said Kathy Byron, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission. 

Areva has attained the first license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a digital instrumentation and control system in existing operating plants. Areva worked in collaboration with the CAER, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech to establish the digital control simulator in Bedford.

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