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Communication Feature | October 2016

Correcting mistakes during the construction phase often causes delays

What are the prospects of nuclear energy? How will it fare against conventional and renewable energy?
As the energy consumption keeps on rising there´s an increasing need for different sources of energy. At the same time, we are fighting against pollution, emissions and greenhouse gases. It is obvious that there is increasing demand for ´clean energy´ which nuclear power plant is capable of providing. And, while solar, biomass and wind power are important sources of clean energy, the amount of energy a nuclear power plant can produce with a just tiny bit of uranium fuel distinguishes it from these other sources.

Why do nuclear projects in India take longer to implement?
It is hard to comment on nuclear projects in India, but generally speaking, nuclear power plants have extremely precise standards and requirements to be met. Constructors are not often used to working under such zero tolerance standard levels for projects. This is especially true for countries like Finland, where only few reactors have been built. Correcting mistakes during construction phase often cause delays.

What is the ´state-of-the-art´ in nuclear energy and what are the advantages?
The nuclear power industry has been developing and improving reactor technology for over five decades and is starting to build the next generation of nuclear power reactors to fill new orders.

Improved designs of nuclear power reactors are constantly being developed internationally.
The first so-called Generation III advanced reactors have been operating in Japan since 1996. These have now evolved further.
Newer advanced reactors now being built have simpler designs which reduce capital cost. They are more fuel efficient and are inherently safer.

According to World Nuclear Association studies, several generations of reactors are commonly distinguished. Generation I reactors were developed in 1950-60s, and outside the UK none are still running today. Generation II reactors are typified by the present US and French fleets and most in operation elsewhere. So-called Generation III (and III+) are the advanced reactors discussed in this paper, though the distinction from Generation II is arbitrary. The first are in operation in Japan and others are under construction or ready to be ordered. Generation IV designs are still on the drawing board and will not be operational at the earliest.

Reactor suppliers in North America, Japan, Europe, Russia and elsewhere have a dozen new nuclear reactor designs at advanced stages of planning or under construction (seven designs), while others are at a research and development stage. Generation IV reactors are at R&D or concept stage.

The greatest exit from most designs now in operation is that many incorporate passive or inherent safety features* which require no active controls or operational intervention to avoid accidents in the event of malfunction, and may rely on gravity, natural convection or resistance to high temperatures.

To what extent can engineering/design management software mitigate risks?
A state-or-the-art engineering and design software like Cadmatic software can help ensuring error free design and also help with the construction phase. A nuclear power plant-project is extremely complex with many factors influencing the design and construction processes but having a high-end software can definitely mitigate the risk of design delays by checking e.g the possible collisions and ensuring correct material usage, just to name a few.

What are the solutions that Cadmatic offers in design of plants requiring attention to industry standards?
Cadmatic has many inbuilt features which assure that design is done by following the industry standards. Flexible and configurable but rule-based system makes sure that designers comply with the regulations and norms. Besides online control mechanisms, the company has a wide variety of functionalities which allow after-design checks. The biggest benefit of all these functionalities is to make sure that correct materials and standards are used from the very beginning. With this later modifications and delays are avoided which sometimes are quite costly also.

You are also present in the Oil & Gas segment, what are solutions you offer here?
We offer 2D-and 3D design applications and information management software for O&G-industries for owner/operators, EPC-contractors and engineering consultants.
Cadmatic eShare is a project or plant information portal that can be used in a variety of ways. The basic scenarios are:
1. During design and construction, project deliverables are published from design applications to eShare, where they can be viewed by all parties involved. The complete, integrated project information model in a single web portal allows easier sharing of deliverables, project status and communication compared to traditional tools.
2. During construction, when integrated with other systems like material management, document management or construction management, more possibilities are available to visualise the status of the project.
3. In the operations phase, eShare makes the design documentation available to operations and maintenance personnel in an easily accessible way. When integrated with the maintenance system or other applications e.g. for inspection, the 3D model can be used as an interface to access information in those systems.

Your plant design is an integrated, database-driven design module. How does this work?
The Cadmatic 3D Plant Design solution is an integrated, database-driven design module that provides powerful tools for 3D layout, piping, HVAC, cable tray. electrical and structural design of plants. This database-driven modelling of pipes and cable trays ensures that the correct materials, sizes and components are used during modelling It automatically produces complete information for construction and installation and can be used throughout the entire value chain from the very initial design until operation and maintenance.

Distributed Design is an interesting concept. Kindly elaborate on the workings of this.
Our Distribution design solution is based on a smart database-centric client server system (COS - common object storage) that efficiently stores 3D models, documents and component libraries in master and replica databases hosted by a database server system. Distributing the design work globally or adding a new design team to a project can be accomplished with ease. Ensuring the integrity and security of project data at all times is a primary priority in the Cadmatic Distributed Design system. In globally distributed projects, data is updated at set intervals between remote design sites via an online network such as the Internet, or by simply exchanging the file in an email attachment. Designers can rest assured that the automatic replication system takes care of data synchronization, thereby ensuring that no design hours are wasted due to incorrect information.

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