L-3 MAPPS to Upgrade Hydro-Québec’s Gentilly-2 Simulator

L-3 MAPPS has been awarded a contract from Hydro-Québec to significantly upgrade its Gentilly-2 simulator. The simulator upgrade is part of a plant refurbishment project which will extend the life of the Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station until the year 2040.

“We are pleased to transform the Gentilly-2 simulator with up-to-date technology, here in the same province as our main production facility,” said Michael Chatlani, vice president, marketing and sales for L-3 MAPPS Power Systems and Simulation.

To match the upgrades planned for the station, the simulator, originally delivered in the late 1980s by L-3 MAPPS, will also undergo major updates. The first phase of the upgrade consists of rehosting the current UNIX-based simulation platform onto a Windows operating system running L-3 MAPPS’ Orchid® simulation environment. In the second phase, the reactor core and thermal-hydraulics models will be upgraded. L-3 MAPPS will replace the actual stimulated plant computer, known as digital control computers (DCCs), with a fully emulated equivalent that will be integrated in the full scope simulator. Deploying a dual DCC computer emulation is a first-of-a-kind effort for CANDU* plant simulators.

In addition, a test bench facility, including two fully stimulated plant computers interfacing the simulator with a new card (DCC-IOSIM), will allow the Gentilly-2 technical staff to test and validate the modifications to the DCC software before implementing these changes in the plant. A user will be able to switch easily between the stimulated and emulated systems. The stimulated plant computers will incorporate SSCI-890 CPU technology, matching the CPU update to be carried out on the plant DCCs.

The order also includes optional phases which could be selected later by Hydro-Québec for emulating the plant’s new turbine control system, a new plant display system and further modeling changes. Work has already started under a pre-authorization from Hydro-Québec and the new simulator is expected to enter service progressively in various phases until fall 2011.

Hydro-Québec generates, transports and distributes approximately 35GW of electricity to Québec and the northeastern part of the US. It has operated Gentilly-2, a standard 675MW CANDU heavy water reactor, with an excellent service record since start-up in 1982. Gentilly-2 is located in Bécancour, Québec, about two hours east of Montreal near the town of Trois-Rivières, and is the only nuclear power plant in the province of Québec.

L-3 MAPPS, a division of the L-3 Marine and Power Systems group, has over 25 years of experience in pioneering technological advances in the marine automation field and over 35 years of experience in delivering high-fidelity power plant simulation to leading utilities worldwide. In addition, the company has more than three decades of expertise in supplying plant computer systems for Canadian heavy water reactors. L-3 MAPPS also provides targeted controls and simulation solutions to the space sector.

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