EDF Energy is deploying a new fleet-wide nuclear plant telemetry system to assist responses to severe ‘beyond design basis’ events.
EDF’s Continuous Emergency Monitoring System (CEMS) has been developed to help power station operators deal with a wide scale emergency, which Charlie Hall, senior consultant at Frazer-Nash Consultancy and CEMS project technical lead, defined as an event assumed to have disrupted infrastructure on and off site, such as by widespread flooding.
Hall added that the project has been reporting to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), which issued a report in May 2015 that said: “The resilience of systems that provide key emergency data, which facilitates decision-making by emergency responding personnel, is being enhanced through the installation of CEMS.”
According to Frazer-Nash, the CEMS enables an operator to use a modular logging and telemetry system without relying on wider station infrastructure to support it.
The reactor-monitoring module connects to a secure satellite communications module and supplies data that can be accessed by operators on and around the site, plus staff at EDF’s Central Emergency Support Centre.
The monitoring module can also communicate with a Deployable Communications and Information System (DCIS), part of EDF’s mobile command and control capability. DCIS can carry spare CEMS monitoring modules should the installed system become damaged.
“The challenge has been in providing a resilient system against threats which go beyond the design basis of the plants,” Hall said in a statement. “In developing CEMS we have had to accept that no matter how resilient CEMS may be it could still become compromised during an event.
“For that reason, we’ve made CEMS flexible. We’ve used multiple back-up power supplies and back-up modules that can be deployed to replace damaged equipment. And we’ve adopted secure satellite communications that can send data to portable display units that operate independently of the station’s infrastructure.”
In acting as the lead engineers on the CEMS project, Frazer-Nash has supported EDF Energy by leading a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and specialists from different external suppliers and departments within EDF Energy.
EDF Energy has started the roll-out of the CEMS project at Hinkley Point B in Somerset.