TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc. has been awarded a contract to develop 3D interactive visualizations for a two-loop PWR in Slovenia. The scope of the effort includes replicating the internal structures and configurations of the reactor building, reactor systems, nuclear fuel rods, fuel pool cooling systems, and portions of the emergency core cooling systems in 3D. Additionally, the visualizations include a focus on the mitigation of the effects of severe nuclear accidents.
As a response to the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, nuclear plants around the world are expanding their training programs to include scenarios that depict severe accidents. As the Fukushima incident progressed, portions of the nuclear fuel attained temperatures sufficient to melt some of the nuclear fuel rods. The melting residue from the uranium fuel rods, called Corium, collected in the bottom head of the reactor vessel and formed a pool where the melted fuel continued to generate decay heat. The Corium failed to cool sufficiently to prevent further melting anda breech in the reactor vessel developed, thus releasing nuclear material into the containment building structures. Another side effect during that accident was the release and buildup of an explosive concentration of hydrogen.
Prior to Fukushima, these types of accidents, were considered so unlikely that specific training exercises were not included in typical nuclear training programs. However, after Fukushima, the nuclear industry decided to address this training deficiency around the world. TriLink’s 3D Visualization software addresses this new requirement by providing a unique solution that allows operators to witness and practice mitigation strategies during these severe accident scenarios.
“TriLink’s solution is unparalleled in the nuclear training industry as a method for observing the complicated set of events, subsequent effects, and practice mitigation strategies all while viewing parameters in a real-time 3D animated computer simulated environment”, commented Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “While we hope nuclear operators will never experience the compounding failures that produced the Fukushima accident, operators should be trained and prepared for any eventuality. We are pleased that our solution can assist in avoiding or minimizing similar accidents in the future.”
About TriLink Systems
TriLink Systems LLC is headquartered in Virginia Beach ,VA with offices in Atlanta, GA. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc. with business activities in the United States, Europe, Middle East and Far East. TriLink creates systems for visualizing complex information from a variety of sources and presents them in an intuitive 3D visual computer environment improving individual and common understanding thereby increasing efficiency, productivity and cost effectiveness.
Bridgeborn is a small business headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. Bridgeborn provides both services and solutions to a broad customer base that spans Commercial and Governmental customers worldwide. Specializing in information technology and trusted advisory services, Bridgeborn helps it’s customers solve difficult situational awareness and decision support issues within: cyber and physical security, logistics and supply chain management, ship building, maintenance and repair, DoD and intel operations, systems training and maintenance, and power & energy. Clients include USAID, DHS, DEA, DARPA, US Air Force and US ARMY. For more information, contact bridgeborn.com or call (757)437-5000
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc. attended and demonstrated Bridgeworks™ 3D technology at the European Nuclear Power Plant Simulation Forum, ENPPS, in Lyon, France hosted by NRG Events. The theme of the conference was "Building the Bridge to the Next Generation". It included clients, regulators and vendors from around the world focused on developing technologies and methods to prepare a new generation of nuclear workers for the global nuclear industry.
The conference created a forum for both clients and technology providers to exchange views, demonstrate technology, and to discuss their practical implementation into nuclear training and education around the world. The overarching theme was advancing nuclear training to better utilize technologies proven to be effective in other technical industries, introduce new technology, and to modernize existing practices. The use of 3D animation technology was a dominant discussion topic in presentations and demonstrations. TriLink’s Bridgeworks technology was showcased in a number presentations during the conference and demonstrated for representatives from the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, France, Russia, Ukraine and Austria.
"This was a great conference. It was an opportunity for TriLink to extend our relationships with existing European clients and establish new ones, in a professional venue focused on technology which closely aligns with TriLink’s mission and strategy", explained Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. "The nuclear industry is awakening to the powerful training capabilities of 3D animation for training of personnel in plant operations, maintenance and severe accident mitigation. The inclusion of 3D animation to nuclear training programs will only increase over time as the industry gains experience and understanding of its benefits. TriLink's continued investment in Bridgeworks' 3D animation software has positioned the company to become a leader in these new 3D learning strategies."
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has been awarded a contract to develop 3D interactive visualizations for a CANDU (Canada Deuterium-Uranium) Reactor in South Korea. The scope of the effort includes 3D visualizations of the reactor, internal structures and various critical system configurations.
The 3D animations will be integrated with a full-scope replica computer simulator where calculated parameters will drive realistic displays. The displays will update in real-time, allowing operators to study nuclear severe accidents, operational transients, and normal plant operation during education and training. These animations provide students views inside components and systems to better understand nuclear reactor behavior as well as associated fluid dynamics, which are not observable by any other method. Additionally, students can interact with the displays and practice accident mitigation control strategies.
“We are excited by the opportunity to apply our unique technology to a unique reactor design. The CANDU reactor design is quite different from the PWR and BWR designs that TriLink has previously delivered to clients around the world. The CANDU reactor utilizes “heavy water”, water that contains a larger than normal amount of the hydrogen isotope deuterium, as a neutron moderator. The utilization of heavy water allows the nuclear fuel to be composed of naturally occurring uranium, U238, as opposed to enriched Uranium utilized in other nuclear designs. Another distinctive feature of the CANDU design is the ability to refuel the reactor while it continues to produce power avoiding lengthy plant shutdowns”, explained Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “Our objective is to provide training scenarios depicting the full range of reactor operation including normal, abnormal and accident conditions. Additionally, this contract will complete TriLink’s portfolio in applying our patented software, Bridgeworks™, to all of the basic types of reactor designs in use around the world.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has completed a contract to develop 3D interactive visualizations for a General Electric Boiling Water Nuclear Reactor (BWR) located in the United States. The scope of the effort included the BWR reactor internal structures and configurations of the reactor systems, reactor buildings and control rod fuel pool cooling systems with an overlay of computed process values in 3D.
The 3D animations were integrated with computer simulated parameters to drive the realistic displays in real-time allowing operators to study nuclear severe accidents, operational transients and normal plant operation for education and training. These animations allow students real-time views inside components and systems to better understand nuclear reactor behavior as well as associated fluid dynamics, which are not observable by any other method. Additionally, students can interact with the displays and practice accident mitigation control strategies.
“This was an important award for TriLink and adds a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) visualization to our existing portfolio of various Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) visualizations. There are 347 of these two types of reactors currently in operation or under construction around the globe”, explained Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “Our design objective is to provide training scenarios depicting accurately simulated conditions, driving 3D animations with real-time response for the nuclear educational and training community. In essence, we want to complete the mental picture of these operational events by coupling 3D animation and enabling students to see what previously could not be seen. This very exciting and powerful learning method is available today and will prove to be indispensable in the future.”
The reactor accident that many of us watched unfold in Fukushima, Japan was of the BWR design. The reactor systems maintained their integrity through the initial earthquake. However, subsequent loss of electrical power to back up systems damaged by the Tsunami water ultimately prevented the operation of critical cooling systems. The international nuclear industry reacted to this event and identified additional training for these types of unusual events. TriLink’s solution is an important tool to satisfy these new requirements.
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has completed a contract to develop interactive 3D visualizations for Severe Accident Training in Japan. The scope of the effort included replicating the PWR internal structures and configurations of the reactor building, reactor systems and control rod fuel pool cooling systems in 3D along with the display of real-time computer modeling calculations representing internal physical properties of the thermo-hydraulic behavior.
The nuclear accidents which followed the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011 resulted in serious and concurrent damage to many of the important nuclear barriers and systems. The combination of events had never been experienced or reasonably postulated at any nuclear plant around the world. Even though nuclear plant structures and components remained physically intact after the natural disasters, the sustained loss of electrical power rendered the vital cooling systems inoperative. Without adequate cooling, the fuel inside the reactor vessel and the fuel storage pool overheated. Ultimately, portions of the reactor fuel reached a temperature sufficient to melt, which in turn melted and breached the reactor vessel barrier.
TriLink’s visualization solution recreates these events in conjunction with computer simulation and provides a visual 3D presentation of the accident’s progression. In a learning environment, students can witness the events, as they occurred in Japan, with the important ability to practice mitigating actions that could prevent similar accidents. The computer design codes that drive the 3D visualization include the melting of the fuel, cladding oxidation, corium production, hydrogen generation, vessel failure, containment failure and fission product release. Students can view macro and micro effects during a severe accident and clearly understand what is occurring inside the shrouds of steel and concrete.
“TriLink was honored to have been selected to produce this unique and significant training tool for the nuclear industry in Japan. Installed instrumentation at a real nuclear plant can only provide select indications which must be interpreted by plant operating personnel. There is no window to actually see into the complicated interactions”, commented Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “Our visualization technology allows students to see into the inner workings and interactions with the same time based inter-relationships. Seeing how something works is so much more powerful than hearing about it while looking at static figures and drawings. This is what TriLink is all about.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has been awarded a contract for interactive 3D visualizations to an education and training institution specializing in nuclear energy production in the UK. This is TriLink’s second contract award in the UK. The scope of the effort includes 3D Severe Accident Visualizations along with stand-alone 3D nuclear power plant components, associated learning modules, and training using Bridgeworks™ software.
With new nuclear facilities in the planning stages and replacement of retiring employees looming, the UK is facing the need to train a new labor force for nuclear plant operation. Much of the nuclear training material currently being used was designed twenty to thirty years ago and developed around the technology available at the time (for reference: fax machines were cutting edge technology). Classroom material is, in effect, a digitized version of the original hard copy lessons. Instructors try to convey complex processes and operations through the use of simple 2D drawings and photos. The client, wanting to take advantage of new technology that could upgrade their materials, chose TriLink’s 3D animation to be part of their effort.
In a typical learning environment, where complicated mechanical components are the subject, students are expected to develop a working mental picture from static 2D illustrations either by reading text or by listening to an instructor. This learning method can be laborious, take hours, and is often prone to errors. TriLink’s visualization technology eliminates this process and imparts the working knowledge in seconds with increased comprehension. Studies have shown the power and effectiveness of visual learning for two basic reasons: the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text; and 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual.
“We are pleased to have been chosen to make an impact on furthering the educational goals of our client with state of the art 3D learning technologies. It only makes sense that nuclear power should utilize the best technologies available for training and education”, said Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “Our Bridgeworks 3D product has been gaining acceptance around the world, in many nuclear training programs, targeting a variety of nuclear plant designs. We are honored that our technology will assist in developing a competent, reliable and safe workforce in the UK.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., was selected to provide nuclear consulting services to a nuclear organization that is constructing the first nuclear plant in the Middle East. The scope of the effort is to evaluate the performance and documentation of the organization’s nuclear power, full scope training simulator and its suitability for use in their nuclear training program.
It is a requirement for nuclear utilities to verify and document the performance of their nuclear training simulator for use in a nuclear training program in the United States. Other countries around the world generally follow the same guidelines and regulations as defined by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission(USNRC), and are often duplicated by the host country’s regulatory authority. The standard which the USNRC endorses to assess the training simulator capabilities, performance and documentation is ANS/ANSI 3.5. The ANS/ANSI 3.5 standard was developed by a committee of members composed of nuclear operators, regulators, suppliers and other knowledgeable persons who are considered experts in the nuclear simulation industry.
A senior TriLink employee was a contributing committee member of the ANS/ANSI 3.5 2009 standard and for this reason, coupled with his thirty years of nuclear power simulator manufacture, has been selected to be part of a simulator evaluation team. The training simulator was recently delivered to the nuclear site and installed in a new training facility. The simulator evaluation team will review performance testing data and design documentation, among other requirements, to verify that the simulator is suitable for use in their licensed nuclear training program.
“We are pleased that our many years of experience in computer simulation and training can assist a new nuclear entrant to the nuclear simulation industry”, said Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “We hope we can help a new nuclear training program get off on the right foot and realize the benefits of complying with ANSI standards. The requirements of the standard took decades to develop and refine, and have been designed with the intention of providing safe and reliable nuclear energy production through a quality nuclear training program.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has completed a contract to develop 3D interactive visualizations for a four loop Pressurized Water Reactor in the UK. The scope of the effort included replicating the internal structures and configurations of the reactor building, reactor systems, control rod fuel pool cooling systems and portions of the emergency core cooling systems in 3D.
Nuclear plant control rooms have a vast array of instrumentation and controls that can span hundreds of linear feet stretching from floor to ceiling. For this reason, a crew of three to four qualified operators are required to safely monitor and control all nuclear plant systems. The sheer number of individual controls and indicators can be very imposing to new nuclear workers who have to learn the function of each control and the exact point of interface with the physical nuclear systems. While the control room configuration provides many hints as to where the controls interconnect with the physical systems, it is essential that the operators have a mental image of these relationships to avoid operational errors.
TriLink’s visualization component allows crew members an opportunity to reinforce the mental image of an operating plant by displaying computer simulated nuclear plant parameters (temperatures, levels and flow rates) superimposed on 3D piping where it can be observed as if you could see inside the piping. The operating information is consolidated in a working 3Drepresentationof the system. This eliminates the need to walk to different locations in the control room to observe specific plant indicators and having to mentally reconstruct system operations. The visualization capability is of particular importance during abnormal and accident conditions where many parameters are changing at the same time, and maintaining the big picture for critical systems is challenging. TriLink’s 3D visualization greatly simplifies this process.
“It is very exciting to bring an entirely new method of education and training to the nuclear industry which allows students to visualize the operation of the plant on their desktops and tablets”, remarked Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “As a previous a Senior Reactor Operator and nuclear trainer, I know it takes months of training with traditional methods to fully understand the detailed inner workings of the plants dynamic behavior. With our 3D visualization learning, the concepts and interactions are clearly displayed in a powerful and comprehensible fashion. The training time required is reduced from months to minutes with a with a lasting retention factor.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has completed the development of interactive 3D visualizationsforsevere accident training at a three loop Pressurized Water Reactor in China. The scope of the effort included replicating the internal structures and configurationsof the reactor building, reactor systems, control rod fuel pool cooling systems, and portions of the emergency core cooling systems in 3D.
With a rapid growth in electricity demand mirroring the country’s economic growth, and expectations for the trend to continue, China realized using coal for its electricity was causing an increase in air pollution that had become intolerable. Since nuclear power provides them a proven and reliable non-polluting option, China has been investing heavily in nuclear power over the last twenty years, more so than any other country. Theycurrently have30 reactors in operation, at least 20 under construction, and many more in the planning stage.
As a result of this rapid growth of nuclear power, a qualified nuclear trained workforce was a requirement. The accident at Fukushima in neighboring Japan highlighted the importance of nuclear training - in particularsevere accident training. For this reason,TriLink’s 3D visualization capabilities were appealing to the Chinese nuclear training industry. We were contracted in 2013 to develop a 3D severe accident training solution and successfully delivered this unique project in 2014.
Our 3D visualization has been integrated with the full-scope training simulator,and boasts displays thataredynamically generatedfrom the output of the simulator. The simulation software featureshigh fidelity predictive capabilitiesused to validate and license actual plant design configurations and therefore has a very high predictive quality for severe accidents. TriLink designed a 3D replica of the specified reactor systems and superimposed the nodal properties of temperature, pressure, enthalpy, void fraction and system flows allowing a view into nuclear plant operational phenomenon. Additionally displayed during accident conditions: nuclear fuel melting; corium production along with the breach of the reactor vessel; and the subsequent release of radioactive material to surrounding structures.
“I have been in the nuclear training and simulation business for thirty years and this project is certainly a game changer for the industry”, commented Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “The nuclear training industry has experimented with a meaningful technology to illustrate severe accidents in the past with limited success. The concerns emanating from the accidents at Fukushima have fueled the search for additional training for these types of events and TriLink has the right product at the right time.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has been awarded a contract from Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC to provide the company’s patented interactive 3D visualization software product, Bridgeworks™. Bridgeworks will be utilized to enhance the technical training curriculum targeting the development of a new generation workers for the nuclear industry and the power and energy sectors in general. In addition, the terms of the agreement allow use of the software by other educational departments at Midlands.
TriLink and Midlands will work in partnership to develop additional 3D learning content which allows students to visualize the 3D operation of complex components, systems and concepts to better prepare them for employment opportunities in the nuclear industry. 3D Visualization provides a very effective mechanism for students to rapidly understand concepts and quickly commit them to memory and increase the efficiency of the learning process. The TriLink and Midlands partnership represent the first partnership in the nuclear industry where interactive 3D visualization technology will be deployed to enhance existing learning curriculum for nuclear workforce development, at an established and accredited educational institution.
“The Mid-state region of SC is uniquely located in the heart of new nuclear construction in the US with new plants in process at Virgil C. Summer and Vogtle nuclear plants along with the ongoing activity at the Savannah River DOE facility. There is no other region in the US with this level of nuclear employment opportunities, and TriLink is honored to assist Midlands in producing qualified workers to support the needs for this important industry”, said Hal D. Paris, CEO and Founder of TriLink Systems.
TriLink and Midlands are members of the NuHub organization located in Columbia, SC which is devoted to bringing together public, private, higher education and workforce development stakeholders to create employment opportunities in the Mid-state region of SC. This partnership is a success story of how NuHub, an initiative of EngenuitySC, can bring together organizations for the benefit of the interested parties while serving the local community.
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has been awarded a contract to create interactive 3D visualizations for a nuclear training center in the United Sates. The scope of the effort includes developing animated 3D mechanical components with our proprietary software, Bridgeworks™, to be used in conjunction with a fundamental classroom curriculum.
As much as half of the nuclear workforce in the United States will be reaching retirement age in the next few years. To replace these workers, nuclear utilities have been ramping up their recruitment and training of a new generation of employees. The demographic of these individuals can be characterized as tech-savvy; they grew up with computers, internet and cell phones. 3D animation is a part of their world and they expect the use of similar technologies in their education and training. TriLink was selected to provide this powerful tool to assist in the training and education of a new generation of nuclear candidates.
In a typical learning environment of the past, instructors struggled with static 2D figures to explain all the working parts and features of a particular piece of power plant equipment. It was often a very difficult task for the student to imagine how all of these parts and pieces work together in a functionally. Today’s students want to see it work, possibly touch it and explore it in detail from different perspectives rather than have it explained verbally or by reading textbooks. TriLink is providing a solution to match the expectations of a new generation by offering interactive 3D animations on their laptop, tablet or phone, where students can learn about complicated mechanical components in their own personalized manner.
“In education and training, the first step in learning is to engage the student - without engagement nothing can be learned”, explained Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “Our Bridgeworks 3D software is definitely engaging as evidenced by students who have witnessed its animations. They stop talking, eliminate their distractions and increase their focus on the animation and learning begins. Additionally, animation is an empowering tool for the instructors who typically are trying to ensure they have the student’s attention - our animations grab the students so the instructor doesn’t have to.”
TriLink Systems, a subsidiary of Bridgeborn, Inc., has been selected to provide nuclear consulting services to a leading international nuclear plant supplier who is in the process of completing construction of a nuclear plant in the US. One of the deliverables for the new construction is to supply a full-scope training simulator to the client utility and TriLink was solicited to write the multi-million dollar bid.
It is common practice for nuclear plant suppliers to provide a nuclear training simulator as part of their contract when constructing a new plant. Simulators are manufactured by modeling all of the systems and controls, utilizing computer simulation to replicate the operating performance of an actual nuclear plant, in order to train personnel before the plant becomes operational. The performance and features of the simulator must comply with the standards identified by ANS/ANSI 3.5. For this reason, the simulator procurement specification must detail all required features, functions and performance criteria to ensure the simulator is designed properly for utilization in training programs that support nuclear licensing of operations personnel by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In addition to meeting the licensing requirement, the simulator will be used to preview the reference nuclear plant performance during the construction phase. Nuclear plant design inconsistencies can often be identified by testing systems and components early in the construction phase, thereby saving all stakeholders potential cost overruns and/or operational deficiencies. Since a senior employee with TriLink, with thirty years of nuclear power simulator manufacture and nuclear operator training experience, was a contributing committee member of the ANS/ANSI 3.5 2009 standard, TriLink was selected to manage the simulator bid specification development.
“We are pleased that our many years of experience in nuclear computer simulation and our 3D training software can be utilized for other important nuclear applications”, said Hal Paris, CEO of TriLink Systems. “The manufacture of a nuclear simulator is a very complicated process requiring unyielding attention and focus of technical detail to deliver a quality product. TriLink is very pleased that our unique expertise can assist in this project.”
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