Building Safe Nuclear Power

With climate change, the future of power is one based on sustainability and low-carbon sources of energy  including wind, solar, and nuclear. According to a report published by the World Nuclear Association, electricity demand is expected to increase by more than have in the next 20 years. At present the nuclear industry provides about 10% of global electricity, 18% in OECD countries. Given a UN projection that the Earth’s population will rise from 7.6 billion in 2017 to 9.7 billion by 2050, the role that nuclear plays in power cities will continue to be vital.

If nuclear is to continue to play an important role in powering the world, it must instill confidence in citizens that its operations are safe. Constructing and operating nuclear power plants means ensuring safety while navigating the inherent complexity of engineering and maintenance. Large energy projects are complex to manage – managing the configuration, managing terabytes of data, managing requirements, all while meeting cost and scheduling targets. Such projects also require that all project stakeholders collaborate like a well-tuned orchestra.

For companies who engineer and construct nuclear facilities, they must not only ensure safety, they must do so while addressing their competitiveness in new build programs. These are concerns of Assystem, an international independent engineering group with 2,500 experts in the nuclear field.

“Building and operating a nuclear plant entails satisfying more and more requirements imposed by safety authorities and public opinion as well as integrating increasingly sophisticated technologies.

This introduces a high level of complexity during the engineering and construction project phases. Because of their massive size and cost, plants have to be built right the first time. Physical prototypes are simply not an option,” according to Christian Jeanneau, senior vice president Nuclear at Assystem.

A key challenge is to manage information continuity from early requirements to design, construction, commissioning, handover and operations. Jeanneau says: “We need traceability. Using a digital model to record the operating data during commissioning and during operations is the best way to capitalize information to present to certification agencies, and to implement a predictive maintenance strategy that improves our clients’ competitiveness.”

Business transformation is, therefore, an objective Assystem is pursuing for itself and when interacting with its clients. Discover how Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform is enabling them by discovering their story.

Mark Bese

Mark Bese

Industry Marketing Director at Dassault Systèmes
Mark Bese is Industry Marketing Director for Energy & Materials at Dassault Systèmes.