The five consoles in the Barakah nuclear plant training simulator may not look like much, but they are a second home for students learning to operate the complex systems at the plant.
The Emirati trainees, in groups of five at a time, spend hundreds of hours during the final six months of the two-year Energy Pioneers programme behind those consoles. They learn to deal with an array of potentially catastrophic steam generator tube ruptures, jammed valves or leaks at the nuclear facility.
“Part of Fanr’s [the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation] requirement is to be trained on fundamentals related to physics and the nuclear power plant,” said reactor operator Ali Ibrahim Al Nuaimi. “You study courses on the system, you have to understand everything that’s on the plant. And then you go through the simulator training, which is aimed at gaining the highest level of knowledge and training on a real-life plant.”
The software developed in the system simulates all the nuclear plant’s systems, including the reactor itself, the steam generator, turbines, controls and the condensating system.
“We make sure we have full power and we develop scenarios to see how operators will mitigate accidents,” said simulator manager Cherif Desouky.
“Every one or two years, operators need to get a requalification, like a pilot. It’s a core element of the power plant and without the simulator, you can’t run the plant and you wouldn’t have any operator’s licence.”
Courtesy: The National