Both New AREVA and AREVA NP have been awarded "Showcase for Industry of the Future" labels by Alliance Industrie du Futur (French Industry of the Future Alliance). The labels were presented at a ceremony attended by French Secretary of State for Industry, Christophe Sirugue, and mark recognition for AREVA's initiative in making virtual reality one of the pillars for the digital transformation of its business.
New AREVA received the "Showcase for Industry of the Future" label for its project entitled "Virtual Reality supporting Nuclear Fuel Cycle Operators".
New AREVA has already adopted a number of fixed and mobile virtual reality tools to support nuclear fuel cycle plants, operators and customers. These tools simulate scenarios and place designers and operators in realistic (1:1 scale) and interactive environments. These consist of immersive rooms, headsets and "Serious games". New AREVA teams have, for instance, developed a 3D, real-time simulator for glovebox work, and a 3D radiological measurement sensor. The tools can be used to validate the ergonomics of certain workstations and the feasibility of a number of intervention scenarios.
Through its virtual reality project, AREVA NP is pursuing the introduction of digital technologies at the heart of its reactor design and maintenance activities.
The virtual reality technologies developed offer users full-scale 3D visualization of systems and components, and the ability to move around immersively in the technical environment. This proven system is currently being used on the ASTRID Gen IV reactor design pilot project with the CEA. An extension of its usage to other AREVA NP activities, such as the steam generator replacement projects on the EDF reactor fleet, is currently being evaluated.
Nathalie Collignon, New AREVA's Director of Innovation, commented: "Virtual reality has multiple benefits for our business, from designing and building our plant and workshops through to operating and decommissioning facilities. Among the many benefits is the fact that it makes it easier to prepare intervention scenarios and train operators in a realistic environment. This possibility of being immersed in the mockup environment also reduces the risks and costs associated with many operations."
"The award represents a form of recognition for the innovation policy of AREVA NP and its commitment to ensuring that its customers benefit fully from these new digital technologies. Virtual reality is deployed more widely within AREVA NP within the framework of operator training on site, in order to facilitate their learning and appropriation of the working environment, the equipment and associated installations", explained Lou Martinez Sancho, Director of Innovation at AREVA NP.
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