Atkins to assess reactor protection software for Hinkley Point C

24 April 2020 (Last Updated July 15th, 2020 23:25)

SNC-Lavalin Group subsidiary Atkins has been awarded a contract to assess the software for the reactor protection system at the Hinkley Point C (HPC) plant in Somerset.

Atkins to assess reactor protection software for Hinkley Point C
The western End of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Stations A/B backs on to the Bristol Channel. Credit: Richard Baker.

SNC-Lavalin Group subsidiary Atkins has been awarded a contract to assess the software for the reactor protection system at the Hinkley Point C (HPC) plant in Somerset.

The protection system will monitor the two nuclear reactors at HPC.

Hinkley Point C chief instrumentation and control engineer Paul Tooley said: “As with all nuclear power stations, safety is always the overriding priority.

“Hinkley Point C will rely on state-of-the-art protection software to monitor the reactors, shutting them down rapidly should the need arise. In support of making the safety justification in the UK context, Atkins will be playing a vital role in independently evaluating Hinkley Point C’s protection system against the world’s highest standards in nuclear reactor safety.”

The assessment is a mandatory step prior to loading fuel into the reactors.

For this assessment, Atkins will make use of MALPAS software, initially carrying out a trial analysis to show the software’s use.

MALPAS technology was already used by the company to certify Temelín nuclear power station in the Czech Republic and at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

Atkins advanced engineering and technology practice manager John Drever said: “As the world becomes increasingly digitally enabled, and software embedded into safety-critical operations, tools like MALPAS will be integral to ensuring the safety of our systems and critical national infrastructure.

“This appointment is at the heart of Hinkley Point C’s programme, and we look forward to working closely with the HPC team to give safety the due diligence it deserves.”

Once operational, HPC is expected to power six million homes and meet 7% of the UK’s electricity demand. It is being developed by EDF.