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.
Using Lumen® helps us to identify degradation quickly and saves 2-3 days of manual analysis time per reactor each quarter.
Jim Reed, Graphite Lifetime & Safety Case Group Head
This ability is provided using Lumen®, our smart delivery platform for analytics applications. The platform reduces the risk and cost of innovation by quickly delivering applications across all users’ devices and uniquely self-organises to link them with live data without manual IT integration. It can also be used by third-party developers to deploy R&D results directly to end-users.
Lumen® supports EDF Energy’s ambition to gain more value from its monitoring data. It minimises timescales to deliver innovation and ultimately helps to safely extend asset lifetimes. This will enable EDF Energy to defer millions of pounds in decommissioning costs and lowers risks to the UK’s security of electricity supply.