Nuclear Power

Surry Nuclear Power Plant

Simulation Provides Insight and Training at Surry Nuclear Power Station

The Training Center at the Surry VA power station is tasked with providing continuing education of its operating personnel in a formal classroom environment. A state-of-the-art, hands-on training program was developed at Surry Power Station to improve the skills of operators in the use of controller modules that operate steam generator power-operated relief valves. The steam generator controller modules operate automatically or manually to open or close relief valves that allow for safe venting of pressures that build up in the reactor's three steam generators during shutdown. "I developed computer-based simulations that allow operators to change controller settings, analyze the effects of the changes, then explore them mathematically," said Hal Warren, senior instructor-Nuclear Training, Surry Power Station. "This helps them develop a better understanding of the effects generated by each change."

Exploring Emergency Events

Warren developed a second simulation that depicts how station equipment responds to certain types of emergency events. "It also explores operation of the atmospheric dump valves in automatic and manual modes, as well as common system failures that can occur and the actions that need to be taken by operators," he said.

"The simulations can be used at an employee's workstation or can be projected in a classroom environment to provide a rapid method for understanding complex process controller concepts." Warren's simulations were designed on a Pentium PC using VisSim modeling and simulation software. He said the feedback received from trainees indicated an improvement in the assimilation and retention of the training material, and instruction time was reduced from 10 hours to two hours.

Equipment Troubleshooting

"The simulations also provided us with a new method of troubleshooting systems and equipment without impacting station operation," he added.

Award Winning Results

For his efforts, Warren was awarded a Training Excellence Award from the American Nuclear Society for achievement, excellence and innovation in nuclear training. The simulations also were recognized by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).