Launched on 14 September 2020, the "Digital Reactor" project will bring together teams from EDF, Framatome, CEA and other players in the sector for four years to develop a digital twin of the reactors in France's nuclear fleet. GIFEN supports this initiative, which corresponds to several issues defined by the sector contract and demonstrates the willingness of the sector's players to work together. In this interview, Cécile Arbouille, GIFEN's General Delegate, talks about GIFEN's support for this ambitious project.
Why did you choose to support this project?
We are supporting this project because it is exemplary for the sector, particularly because of its collective dimension. It brings together nine key partners and brings together major contractors, SMEs, ETIs and research laboratories in order to build a unique and innovative range of simulation products and services in the field of reactor physics.
This investment programme for the future of the nuclear industry will offer any operator a digital twin representative of its installation to be able to train in reactor operation, whenever he wishes. It will also provide the engineering departments and numerous design offices of the sector with a calculation environment based on the best available techniques, both in terms of calculation power and state-of-the-art scientific codes.
Why is this project important for the sector?
The Digital Reactor contributes directly to the Strategic Contract for the Nuclear Sector. It aims to ensure that the skills and expertise of the nuclear sector are maintained and to structure the innovation process using digital technology.
It promotes, publicises and shares the best of digital simulation in the nuclear sector. Each reactor in the French nuclear fleet will thus have a digital clone representative of its operation, which will evolve at the pace of the plant throughout its life cycle. All this know-how accumulated by the sector can be put at the service of other operators.
Finally, this project accelerates the differentiation with international competition through innovation and the federation of the main players in the field of digital simulation for reactor physics.
© picture: Marc DIDIER/EDF
What is GIFEN's role in the project?
GIFEN was in the process of being set up at the beginning of 2018. Dominique Minière, then future president of GIFEN, supported the project by sending a letter to the General Secretariat for Investment guaranteeing the seriousness of the project and explaining all the industrial and economic interest that the sector could derive from its results. The members of the consortium regularly come to report to us on their progress within the digital commission. We will be involved throughout the project in order to promote the results and the resulting service offer.