Skip to main content

Friday Flash Fun

With apologies to MetaFilter for blatantly ripping off their Friday Flash Fun idea, we offer up AE4RV's Nuclear Plant Operator game. Enjoy!

Friday Flash Fun

Comments

anony-mouse said…
"You are in control of a small commercial nuclear power plant.  [b]Your goal is to produce as much power as possible without causing a meltdown.[/b]"

Ingenious summary of how people see nuclear power plants. The fact that maxing out the plant is rather normal, and that a meltdown is only possible after a horrible accident, is somewhat missed. :/
George Carty said…
Just a note on the game - it seems like 0% control rods means "fully in" and 100% means "fully out" - I had two meltdowns before I realized that :(
Adam said…
There are several nuclear plant simulations on the web, many of which are similarly guilty of misrepresenting various aspects of NPP operation (level of control, absence of automation, likelihood of failure, time-scale, etc.) to make core damage more probable. Although this undoubtedly makes for a more interesting simulation, the (perhaps) inadvertent effect is that people (continue to) overestimate the risk associated with NPP.

This program is especially guilty of this.

Other interesting details:
-The plant is a 20MWe PWR
-The GUI has 18 annunciator lights, including the comical "Power Output Low" and "Meltdown".
-The GUI outputs four properties that characterize the plant state: Reactor Temperature, Steam Generator Temperature, Cooling Tower Temperature, and Reactor Power, all on analog scales with handy green, yellow and red bands so the operator knows whether the number is OK.
-The operator has control of the Control Rod Positions, Primary Coolant Flow, Secondary Coolant Flow, and Emergency Coolant Flow, all adjustable from 0-100% rated flow.
-The operator can only adjust these variables once per game-day, after which the plant conditions are updated. All transients literally take "days".

I'm a bit curious which equations the simulation is using, but no such information is provided by the website or demo.

Also did anyone else notice the reactor coolant flow diagram? The coolant seems to around the core (down the downcomer, below the core, and back up the downcomer) rather than through it.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…