In late 2019 Dominion Energy contracted CORYS Inc. to develop a full scope glass panel simulator for the VC Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina. The purpose of the new simulator is to supplement the existing highly-utilized full scope training simulator, providing more opportunity for both licensed and non-licensed plant operators to enjoy the benefits of simulator training.
The glass panel simulator uses the exact same high fidelity models as the existing hard panel simulator, and runs under the CORYS T-REX simulator environment. To achieve the highest possible fidelity, Dominion specified that a complete set of native 4K graphics would be developed which replicate the control room controls and instruments. The glass panel simulator is required to be the same size as the actual control room panels, and the panel instruments and controls are to be same size and in the same spatial location as on the hard panels. Vertical panels which replicate control room back panels are also included.
To meet the Dominion requirements CORYS designed and constructed a simulator consisting of fifty one 65” 4k touch screen displays driven by 36 networked computers. Each display weighs over 100 lb, and the top monitors are mounted about 8 feet high, which heavily impacted the frame design and construction. The need to safely access the displays for maintenance and removal necessitated a unique design that allows each segment of the panels to independently slide out.
Another challenge emerged during initial testing of the simulator when the graphics response was determined to be too slow. Troubleshooting determined that the T-REX graphics development tool was overwhelmed by the demands of the huge 4K displays. This is the first full-scope 4K glass panel simulator in North America and no previous graphics implementation had been so large and complex, so the problem was being seen for the first time. As a remedy, CORYS rebuilt the T-REX graphics engine, resulting in a 6x increase in the dynamic graphics response.
The Factory Acceptance Test program was successfully completed on July 19, 2020, but the facility to house the simulator at VC Summer remains under construction. As soon as the facility is completed CORYS engineers will ship the new simulator to the nuclear plant and install it on-site.