Framatome to commercialise digital twin-based diagnostics

02 October 2023

Framatome has been awarded a USD1 million contract for the second phase of the digital twin-based Diagnostics for Nuclear Auxiliary Systems project to commercialise automated diagnostic technology for nuclear plant auxiliary systems, which it says will lead to savings in operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for the current light-water reactor fleet.

(Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

The company is working in partnership with EDF subsidiary Metroscope on the project, which will apply Metroscope digital twin technology to an auxiliary system to demonstrate O&M savings at an operating light-water reactor plant. The objective is to demonstrate the value of the technology and quantify the return on investment for expanding to more plants after project completion, Framatome said. Framatome will be responsible for overall project management and development of the digital twin model for the auxiliary system, and Metroscope will support the project with co-leadership, product advancement and plant integration.

The first phase of the project focused on the application of digital twin technology to a high-temperature gas reactor auxiliary system using input data from the Natural Convection Shutdown Heat Removal Test Facility at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. The second phase will build on this, and on proven Metroscope diagnostic technology which is already in use at more than 60 nuclear plants, Framatome said.

"The successful commercialisation of this technology will be instrumental in developing additional cost-effective solutions available for nuclear plant operations today and prepares us for the next generation of advanced reactor designs," said Framatome North America CEO Katherine Williams.

The project is sponsored by the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the GEMINA (Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets) programme. GEMINA aims to develop digital twin technology for advanced nuclear reactors and transform operations and maintenance systems in the next generation of nuclear power plants.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News