Nuclear, a dusty industry? (Part 2)

See part 1

Recent pledges from governments around the world to break free from fossil resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions create an opportunity for the nuclear industry to put its best foot forward to attract new talent.  By adopting new methodologies supported by digital tools, they can undergo the fundamental transformation so desperately needed to invigorate this industry anew.

Meeting the generational challenge discussed in Part 1 of our two-part series requires modern-day methods and tools to attract top talent to the nuclear industry. By digitally transforming their business, companies accelerate innovation and agility while remaining relevant to younger generations of engineers. These transformations are necessary to deal with the increasing complexities of a nuclear industry in which employees must execute often complex, high-risk activities in the shortest time possible. However, there is a difference between transformation and digitization. Many companies are digitizing or converting their analog data into digital form using dedicated tools to introduce vertical efficiencies at every phase – engineering, construction, operation, maintenance, etc.– of a plant’s lifecycle. This, however, only deepens the silos between these organizations, which prevents cross-discipline collaboration.

Nuclear industry transformation

True innovation is possible when project stakeholders throughout a company’s value network can share and leverage the latest digital information generated using re-engineered methodologies, rather than through electronic data produced by simply digitizing the old way of working. Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform is a business platform that supports this business transformation with the capability to thread digital continuity across the different stages, organizations and disciplines involved in nuclear innovation, projects and operations. This unique capability to absorb different forms of complexity and unlock collaboration allows companies to remove silos, rethink methodologies and regain control of data that was produced by segregated first generation digitization initiatives.

Dassault Systèmes supports companies in the nuclear industry in their transformation through its technology as well as consulting services to analyze the way they work today and how innovative methodologies based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can generate a tangible advantage. With respect to the generational challenge, with the platform, older and younger generations can mutually share experience and technology knowhow, respectively. This is important for several reasons. Through a better understanding of these millennials and their tools, more senior workers continue to improve their contribution using more effective ways to find and consume the right information at the right time, while being able to naturally pass and capitalize their knowhow before retiring, which was not done properly enough in the past. For younger generations, working with modern social-based and collaborative tools that resemble those they live with change their perception of an industry that did not always satisfy their professional expectations. And they are mentored by more experienced employees in the process using familiar technology. A win-win situation.

Dassault Systèmes has acquired considerable expertise based on decades of experience working with some of the world’s most prominent players in the nuclear industry. Below are some examples of companies that have adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to transform their business to drive sustainable innovation:

  1. Assystem, a leading European engineering firm, uses Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to improve the management and industrial performance of complex engineering projects. Faced with design, construction, operations and maintenance challenges due to limited resources, tight margins, high risk and complex stakeholder communication, owner/operators of nuclear facilities turn to Assystem to provide them with engineering expertise to support the development or modernization of equipment and plants. Based on a virtual representation of a facility’s entire lifecycle managed on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Assystem leverages its experience in nuclear and digital technologies to deliver safety, efficiency, profitability and sustainability improvements to its clients.
  2. Russian nuclear power plant engineering and construction company ASE, part of the Rosatom group, needed a better way to design and build nuclear power plants on time and on budget. The company uses the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to streamline management of a plant’s lifecycle from design to commissioning. ASE and Dassault Systèmes collaborated together to create a solution that would integrate process engineering, design and construction in a unified digital nuclear power plant (NPP) model. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, ASE has an integrated environment for collaboration and data exchange with hundreds of suppliers providing all project stakeholders with real-time feedback for faster issue resolution. Digital technologies can increase plant reliability and safety, which is an innovative approach that cements ASE’s reputation as a serious contender as it competes in the global nuclear power market.
  3. As environmental and safety-related regulations in the nuclear industry increase in number and complexity, world-leading Classification Society, Bureau Veritas, needed to improve its efficiency when interacting with manufacturers of pressurized devices for their certification. The company uses Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to implement digital continuity from initial specifications to transport, installation and operation of nuclear pressurized equipment. Through a single integrated platform of product information stakeholders can access and act on the latest version of product data, thereby accelerating and reinforcing certification cycle times and improving traceability.
  4. Dassault Systèmes’ digital simulation solutions have been used in recent years by research laboratories in the chemical, oil & gas industries for materials research and innovation. Companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil or Dow have digitalized their international research laboratories for improved compliance with environmental regulations and protection of their intellectual property. Dassault Systèmes’ tools are also used to model and simulate materials at the atomic level hence generalizing “in-silico” experimentation for thousands of research scientists around the world. We can leverage these tools to accelerate research and innovation in the nuclear industry as well. Application examples we foresee are faster development of new alloys for EATF fuels, accelerated research on nuclear circuit chemistry and a better understanding of material degradation mechanisms for concrete or steel.

The technologies of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform deliver digital continuity to a nuclear company’s entire value network to improve efficiencies and reduce risks. It is the live digital thread linking senior staff with younger generations, thus providing a breeding ground for continuous improvement.  Through the resulting business transformation, the nuclear sector can continue to spark interest among new generations of engineers for a career in this sophisticated industry where excellence is mandatory.

To learn more about how Dassault Systèmes can help you address your challenges, please visit our website or come see us at the 2018 Worldwide Nuclear Exhibition near Paris, which takes place June 26-28.  Click here to get a free badge to attend.

Thomas Grand

Thomas Grand

Thomas Grand is Vice President, Energy, Process and Utilities industry, Dassault Systèmes. In this role, he is driving the industry’s adoption of a new digital perspective of the entire business lifecycle — from innovation to recycling — with a vision to deliver sustainable life for the 21st century. He is responsible for helping power, process, chemical, utilities, oil and gas companies create more efficient and more sustainable materials, processes and facilities, using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Thomas Grand

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