L-3 MAPPS announced today that it has delivered a research simulator to the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) in the New London Business and Technology Center in Bedford, Virginia, US.

The advanced configurable main control room simulator (ACMCRS) will be used for human-machine interface (HMI) and human factors (HF) studies, investigation of digital instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants, and cybersecurity issues. This unique facility was made possible in part by generous support from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC), which provided more than $10m in grants to support construction of the facility and the purchase of specialized equipment for the control room.

The Center for Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy, one of the four research areas at the CAER, features the fully configurable ACMCRS, which will provide invaluable technical input for regulatory guidance in a range of applications, including control room design, digital technologies and human performance measures.

"To date, the United States has not had a configurable control room simulator for research use like the one at the Halden Man-Machine Lab in Norway," said Bob Bailey, executive director for the CAER. "The simulator provided by L-3 MAPPS, with AREVA’s cooperation, will now enable us to perform critical experiments in the US in areas such as alarm systems, control room design, display navigation and development of human performance measures."

"We are pleased to support the CAER and proud that the detailed modeling methods and robust simulation technology used by L-3 MAPPS are being leveraged by prestigious research facilities like CAER’s Center for Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy," said Michael Chatlani, vice president of L-3 MAPPS Power Systems and Simulation.

The ACMCRS is a high-fidelity simulation of AREVA’s EPR™ plant running on L-3 MAPPS’ cutting-edge Orchid® simulation environment. The simulator consists of four operator stations, each able to accommodate up to ten monitors. CAER will be able to easily configure the number of monitors and HMI displays on each monitor for various HF experiments. The four operator stations can be used as part of an integrated control room environment or separately for individual studies.

The Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) is a non-profit organization within Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership that creates working relationships between high-tech industries, major R&D centers and university researchers, and facilitates professional development opportunities for scientists and engineers in the region. Its 30,000ft² research and education facility, located in the New London Business and Technology Center in Bedford County, will serve as the region’s source for industry innovation in nuclear and wireless technologies.

The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission is a 31-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,475 grants totaling more than $834m across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has made available nearly $288m in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.