EDF Energy owns and operates 14 advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactors (AGRs) in the UK and provides around 20% of the nation’s electricity. Safety is its overriding priority in operating its AGRs. It has a strategic goal to extend the average life of the AGR fleet by 7 years whilst continuing to ensure safe and reliable operation.
To assist with this, it gathers large quantities of data from its reactor cores. This helps to ensure compliance with the safety case for operation, inform decisions related to inspection campaigns and set appropriate lifetime extension targets. With adequate interpretation, the data could safely reduce the need for physical inspections, thereby minimising outages and associated lost revenue. As such, EDF Energy has been working with a number of R&D partners for several years to develop specialist models and algorithms to interpret its data.
Bellrock Technology provides a standard mechanism for EDF Energy to deploy its R&D results. This allows data interpretation tools to be delivered quickly and consistently, whether as early-stage prototypes to build business cases or as commercial applications for full operational use. It also enables all tools, whether developed jointly or by individual R&D partners, to be accessed via a common decision support system. This ensures results can be combined for joint analysis to support core-wide and fleet-wide decisions.