NuScale, Accelerant ally to develop operator training program

June 8, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The NuScale control room simulator has been used to showcase the plant’s design, prototype new displays, and test the operator and supervisor procedures in a fully digital control room. (Photos: NuScale Power)

NuScale Power has signed an agreement with training and consulting firm Accelerant Solutions for the development and implementation of a reactor operator training program, the Portland, Ore.–based small modular reactor developer announced on June 7.

The companies have collaborated since 2020 on the development of lesson plans to train plant operators on operating systems, use of operating procedures, and the NuScale control room simulator.

Under the new agreement, Accelerant Solutions and its strategic technology partner Tecnatom USA—a subsidiary of Spanish firm Tecnatom—will leverage their first-of-a-kind PLANT software, which uses interactive visual aids and a single, authoritative source for all drawings and documents that can be shared between lessons, according to NuScale’s announcement.

“The collaboration between NuScale and Accelerant Solutions builds upon NuScale’s innovations in control room staffing and will accelerate nuclear energy training for the innovative VOYGR power plant design,” the announcement stated. “VOYGR power plant configurations up to the 12-module VOYGR-12 924-MWe power plant can be operated safely and reliably with a minimum of three licensed operators from a single control room—a feature approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff.”

C-suite excitement: “We are excited to sign this agreement today with Accelerant because this partnership sets the stage for the successful training for future VOYGR plant operators,” said John Hopkins, NuScale’s president and chief executive officer.

Billy Mack, president of Accelerant Solutions, said, “We are thrilled to be selected as NuScale’s SMR training partner. This partnership will accelerate power for all humankind. We are committed to delivering the highest-quality training programs to NuScale’s clients.”

In case you missed it: In April, Accelerant Solutions and Tecnatom signed an agreement with Westinghouse to launch a nuclear training program for utilities in the United States and Canada. (Westinghouse completed a 50 percent acquisition of Tecnatom in March of last year.) The program—the Nuclear Excellence Academy—will combine Westinghouse and Accelerant Solutions’ industry expertise with Tecnatom’s digital products and services to provide in-person, digital, and on-demand training for nuclear personnel, according to an April 18 Westinghouse announcement.

And last month, NuScale opened its fifth Energy Exploration (E2) Center, at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania, in support of its ongoing collaboration with the U.S. and Romanian governments and Nuclearelectrica, operator of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The new center—the first to be set up outside of the United States—was funded by the U.S. State Department under the Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology, or FIRST, program. (A multiagency government initiative, FIRST is specifically designed to provide capacity building support to partner countries considering SMRs to meet clean energy goals.)

In its announcement, NuScale described the E2 Center as “an innovative learning environment that offers users a hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios.”

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