Nuclear energy is a fundamentally important part of the energy mix for low-carbon energy conversion across the globe. It goes without saying that controlling nuclear power stations is a complex endeavour where safety is paramount. With that in mind, the present generation of nuclear power stations is subject to stringent and very conservative standards in its control mechanisms, based largely on established hard-wired technologies. Significant gains in overall plant efficiency would be possible if a switch were made to using more sophisticated, computer-based control systems, but understandably there are barriers to their adoption until their safety can be rigorously demonstrated.
SEEC will review and develop the present state of the art in methodologies for verifying the safety and correctness of computer control systems and demonstrate them both in simulation and on prototype hardware models of safety-critical systems.
Aim & objectives
The aim of the nuclear energy work package is to develop methodologies for the validation of computer models of complex phenomena through the development of sensor networks and to build capability to validate and verify the applicability of computer control systems for safety critical plant and infrastructure in the ocean renewable energy, nuclear energy and efficient energy utilization sectors. The specific objectives are:
- To review and synthesize the current state of the art in methodologies for the validation and verification of computer models.
- To review and synthesize the current state of the art in mathematical methods for the validation and certification of computer control systems, including a review of applicable electrotechnical standards.
- To develop, in tandem with the cyberinfrastructure work packages a pilot study around the sensors, instrumentation and control system of a representative system or plant.
- To develop new methodologies for the validation and verification of computer simulations of critical infrastructure through numerical studies informed by sensor networks.
- To develop new methodologies for the verification and certification of computer control systems in safety- or mission-critical application areas and implement a case-study of their application to a system related to a SEEC stakeholder’s requirements.